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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2000 Sep;102(3):188-98.

Social phobia treated as a problem in social functioning: a controlled comparison of two behavioural group approaches.

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Department of Psychology, University of Montreal, Canada.



Treatments for social phobia result typically in significant anxiety and avoidance reduction; the repercussions in terms of social functioning, however, are not clear. This controlled study compared two approaches designed to improve the social functioning of social phobics.


Sixty-eight socially phobic patients were randomly assigned to two treatments focused on improving interpersonal relationships either with or without social skills training or a waiting list; 60 completed treatment and 59 a 1-year follow-up. Treatment was administered in small groups, 14 sessions altogether.


No clinically meaningful change was observed during the waiting period. A statistically significant and equivalent improvement obtained in both treatment conditions.


Both treatments resulted in reduced anxiety, avoidance, general psychopathology and better social functioning that maintained over follow-up. Continuing improvement in remission rates was noted; fully 60% of the patients no longer fulfilled criteria for social phobia at the end of 1-year follow-up.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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