University of Twente Student Theses


Cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders : predictors of outcome

Brandenburg, A.B. (2017) Cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders : predictors of outcome.

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Abstract:Objective: This study aims to identify the personal client characteristics that may predict treatment outcome in patients with an anxiety disorder. Methods: A systematic review investigated recent trials identified through databases of Scopus and PsycINFO, with the search string including the broad term “anxiety disorder”, predict*, and “cognitive behavioral therapy”. Titles and abstracts were scanned to exclude trials before 2010, treatment conditions other than individual face-to-face CBT, biological predictors, and trials including children younger than 16 years. 30 articles met these criteria and were further investigated for results. Results: Baseline severity of symptoms, comorbidity, neuroticism, self-stigma, harm avoidance, anxiety sensitivity, and resistance in the first session were associated with a poorer outcome. Self-esteem, shame, self-efficacy, perceived control, outcome expectancy, vigilant bias, emotion reactivity, homework adherence and lower heart rate variability emerged as potential predictors of a better outcome. Conclusions: The most consistent predictors were severity of symptoms and comorbidity. Sociodemographic variables have consistently been demonstrated to have no impact on therapy outcome. Although personal features have not been investigated in as many studies, they still have been identified as predictors. The results highlight the potential value of a more personalized and elaborated intake interview and treatment approach. Methods to investigate the identified predictors during the intake phase and addressing them in composing a treatment approach to optimize treatment results are discussed.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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