What Is The Best Strategy For Overcoming Constant Worries?

Apr 07, 2009

A group of German investigators has published a randomized controlled trial on how to overcome constant worries in the current issue of Psyhotherapy and Psychosomatics.

Worry exposure (WE) is a core element of cognitive-behavioral treatment for generalized disorder (GAD). Its efficacy as a stand-alone treatment method (without further cognitive-behavioral therapy interventions) has never been tested. This study examined whether WE alone is as efficacious as the empirically supported stand-alone treatment for GAD, applied relaxation (AR).

In a randomized controlled study, 73 outpatients meeting DSM-IV criteria for GAD as primary diagnosis were allocated to either WE or AR or a waiting list control group; in a 2nd randomization procedure the waiting list subjects were reallocated to WE or AR. The treatment was manualized (15 sessions with WE or AR), included 6-month and 1-year follow-ups, as well as last observation carried forward and completer analyses, and was controlled for allegiance effects.The Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale and the State-Trait Anxiety Scale were used as primary outcome measures. Self-report scales of anxiety, worrying and depression including negative metacognition about worrying and thought suppression served as secondary outcome measures.

The dropout rate was moderate. The pre-/posttreatment effects were high for the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (standardized mean difference >1) and for the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (standardized mean difference >0.87). The proportion of patients reaching high end state functioning was 48% (WE) and 56% (AR). WE and AR did not differ with regard to dropout rate or treatment effects. The treatment effects were stable at 6 month and 1 year follow-up.

This is the first study to show that a stand-alone exposure in sensu technique - WE - is efficacious in the treatment of GAD. Both AR and WE seem to represent effective principles of change in GAD.

More information: Hoyer, J.; Beesdo, K.; Gloster, A.T.; Runge, J.; Höfler, M.; Becker, E.S. Worry Exposure versus Applied Relaxation in the Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Psychother Psychosom 2009;78:106-115.

Provided by Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics

Explore further: Religious music brings benefit to seniors' mental health

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Anxiety disorders surprisingly common yet often untreated

Mar 12, 2007

A new study by researchers led by Kurt Kroenke, M.D., of the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Regenstrief Institute, Inc. reports that nearly 20 percent of patients seen by primary care physicians have at least ...

Childhood anxiety disorders can and should be treated

Dec 24, 2008

Anxiety disorders in children and adolescents should be recognized and treated to prevent educational underachievement and adult substance abuse, anxiety disorders and depression, says a nationally recognized child psychiatrist ...

Recommended for you

Religious music brings benefit to seniors' mental health

Apr 18, 2014

A new article published online in The Gerontologist reports that among older Christians, listening to religious music is associated with a decrease in anxiety about death and increases in life satisfaction, self-e ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

UAE reports 12 new cases of MERS

Health authorities in the United Arab Emirates have announced 12 new cases of infection by the MERS coronavirus, but insisted the patients would be cured within two weeks.

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...