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The efficacy of internet-delivered treatment for generalized anxiety disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis

The efficacy of internet-delivered treatment for generalized anxiety disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis
The efficacy of internet-delivered treatment for generalized anxiety disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is typically considered a chronic condition characterized by excessive worry. Lifetime prevalence is 4.3–5.9%, yet only a small percentage seeks treatment. GAD is treatable and in recent years internet-delivered treatment interventions have shown promise. This paper aims to systematically search for literature on internet-delivered psychological interventions for the treatment of GAD and conduct a meta-analysis to examine their efficacy. The purpose of the paper is to inform the community of researchers, program developers and practitioners in internet delivered interventions of the current state-of-the-art and research gaps that require attention. A systematic search of the literature was conducted to find all studies of internet-delivered treatments for GAD (N = 20). Using Review Manager 5 all Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs; n = 11) that met our established eligibility criteria were included into a meta-analysis that calculated effect sizes via the standardized mean difference. Compared to the waiting-list controls, the results demonstrate positive outcomes for GAD symptoms (d = − 0.91) and its central construct of pathological worry (d = − 0.74). The meta-analysis supports the efficacy of internet-delivered treatments for GAD including the use of disorder-specific (4 studies) and transdiagnostic treatment protocols (7 studies). Caution is advised regarding the results as the data is limited and highly heterogeneous, but revealing of what future research might be needed.
online cbt, CBT, CCBT, Anxiety, generalised anxiety disorder
2214-7829
272-282
Richards, Derek
e63ba07a-0fd6-4617-b0dc-7c5d6c3a4ce2
Richardson, Thomas
f8d84122-b061-4322-a594-5ef2eb5cad0d
Timulak, Ladislav
42c4ccef-4c70-4ac4-9e08-6db385ef5c8b
Mcelvaney, James
800ee2ff-3749-4776-9200-c5011667b0dd
Richards, Derek
e63ba07a-0fd6-4617-b0dc-7c5d6c3a4ce2
Richardson, Thomas
f8d84122-b061-4322-a594-5ef2eb5cad0d
Timulak, Ladislav
42c4ccef-4c70-4ac4-9e08-6db385ef5c8b
Mcelvaney, James
800ee2ff-3749-4776-9200-c5011667b0dd

Richards, Derek, Richardson, Thomas, Timulak, Ladislav and Mcelvaney, James (2015) The efficacy of internet-delivered treatment for generalized anxiety disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Internet Interventions, 2 (3), 272-282. (doi:10.1016/j.invent.2015.07.003).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is typically considered a chronic condition characterized by excessive worry. Lifetime prevalence is 4.3–5.9%, yet only a small percentage seeks treatment. GAD is treatable and in recent years internet-delivered treatment interventions have shown promise. This paper aims to systematically search for literature on internet-delivered psychological interventions for the treatment of GAD and conduct a meta-analysis to examine their efficacy. The purpose of the paper is to inform the community of researchers, program developers and practitioners in internet delivered interventions of the current state-of-the-art and research gaps that require attention. A systematic search of the literature was conducted to find all studies of internet-delivered treatments for GAD (N = 20). Using Review Manager 5 all Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs; n = 11) that met our established eligibility criteria were included into a meta-analysis that calculated effect sizes via the standardized mean difference. Compared to the waiting-list controls, the results demonstrate positive outcomes for GAD symptoms (d = − 0.91) and its central construct of pathological worry (d = − 0.74). The meta-analysis supports the efficacy of internet-delivered treatments for GAD including the use of disorder-specific (4 studies) and transdiagnostic treatment protocols (7 studies). Caution is advised regarding the results as the data is limited and highly heterogeneous, but revealing of what future research might be needed.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 12 July 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 19 July 2015
Published date: 1 September 2015
Keywords: online cbt, CBT, CCBT, Anxiety, generalised anxiety disorder

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 439473
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/439473
ISSN: 2214-7829
PURE UUID: 90d86bc9-0000-4b34-986d-ac1f71e2f043

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Date deposited: 23 Apr 2020 16:55
Last modified: 20 May 2020 16:36

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Contributors

Author: Derek Richards
Author: Ladislav Timulak
Author: James Mcelvaney

University divisions

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