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Psychological interventions in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder: a structured review

Psychological interventions in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder: a structured review
Psychological interventions in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder: a structured review
Objective
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common and distressing condition, which typically has a persistent course and is often resistant to treatment. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has long been considered the first-line psychotherapeutic option for GAD, but many patients, and especially the elderly, do not experience long-lasting benefits. The aim of this review is to summarize the strengths and weaknesses of CBT and other
psychological interventions to guide the development of new
approaches and encourage new controlled studies to improve
clinical outcomes.

Methods
We conducted a computerized literature search through PubMed
and Google Scholar using the term generalized anxiety disorder/ GAD, both alone and in combinations with the terms psychological treatment, cognitive behavioural therapy/CBT, CBT Packages, new CBT approaches, third wave CBT, internet computer-based CBT, psychodynamic therapy, brief psychodynamic therapy, applied relaxation, AR and mindfulness. The identified articles were further reviewed to scan for additional suitable articles. The search took place between October 2011 and September 2012.

Results
Cognitive behavioural therapy has been the most studied psychological treatment and is recommended as a first choice intervention for GAD. Applied relaxation has demonstrated similar effectiveness as CBT. Novel approaches and adaptations of GAD, such as well-being therapy, have been developed to provide a wider range of therapeutic choices: although preliminary results are encouraging, further studies are needed to establish their efficacy
and relative value when compared to more conventional
CBT.

Conclusions
CBT, applied relaxation, psychodynamic approaches, internetcomputer- based CBT, mindfulness techniques, interpersonal emotional processing therapy metacognitive model and wellbeing therapy have all shown beneficial effects in treating GAD. The current “gold standard” in treating GAD remains CBT, but given the nature of the disorder, clinicians should be aware of the other therapeutic options when making treatment decisions
in accordance with patients’ needs.
1592-1107
9-24
Bolognesi, F.
13c61452-6974-4730-be2b-084546153282
Baldwin, D.S.
1beaa192-0ef1-4914-897a-3a49fc2ed15e
Ruini, C.
ef181ee9-2510-40b4-bbb6-14429f4912ae
Bolognesi, F.
13c61452-6974-4730-be2b-084546153282
Baldwin, D.S.
1beaa192-0ef1-4914-897a-3a49fc2ed15e
Ruini, C.
ef181ee9-2510-40b4-bbb6-14429f4912ae

Bolognesi, F., Baldwin, D.S. and Ruini, C. (2014) Psychological interventions in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder: a structured review. Journal of Psychopathology, 20, 9-24.

Record type: Article

Abstract

Objective
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common and distressing condition, which typically has a persistent course and is often resistant to treatment. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has long been considered the first-line psychotherapeutic option for GAD, but many patients, and especially the elderly, do not experience long-lasting benefits. The aim of this review is to summarize the strengths and weaknesses of CBT and other
psychological interventions to guide the development of new
approaches and encourage new controlled studies to improve
clinical outcomes.

Methods
We conducted a computerized literature search through PubMed
and Google Scholar using the term generalized anxiety disorder/ GAD, both alone and in combinations with the terms psychological treatment, cognitive behavioural therapy/CBT, CBT Packages, new CBT approaches, third wave CBT, internet computer-based CBT, psychodynamic therapy, brief psychodynamic therapy, applied relaxation, AR and mindfulness. The identified articles were further reviewed to scan for additional suitable articles. The search took place between October 2011 and September 2012.

Results
Cognitive behavioural therapy has been the most studied psychological treatment and is recommended as a first choice intervention for GAD. Applied relaxation has demonstrated similar effectiveness as CBT. Novel approaches and adaptations of GAD, such as well-being therapy, have been developed to provide a wider range of therapeutic choices: although preliminary results are encouraging, further studies are needed to establish their efficacy
and relative value when compared to more conventional
CBT.

Conclusions
CBT, applied relaxation, psychodynamic approaches, internetcomputer- based CBT, mindfulness techniques, interpersonal emotional processing therapy metacognitive model and wellbeing therapy have all shown beneficial effects in treating GAD. The current “gold standard” in treating GAD remains CBT, but given the nature of the disorder, clinicians should be aware of the other therapeutic options when making treatment decisions
in accordance with patients’ needs.

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More information

Published date: 2014
Organisations: Faculty of Medicine

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 367923
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/367923
ISSN: 1592-1107
PURE UUID: 190cec6e-ba73-458f-aa93-839f08db9760
ORCID for D.S. Baldwin: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3343-0907

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 21 Aug 2014 13:22
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 16:44

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Contributors

Author: F. Bolognesi
Author: D.S. Baldwin ORCID iD
Author: C. Ruini

University divisions

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