Efficacy of Psychological Treatments for Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Social Phobia The present study compares the efficacy of 7 different psychological treatments for generalized anxiety disorder, or 6 for social phobia respectively in a meta analysis of 29 studies that included 67 treatment interventions. Pre-post effect sizes were calculated for 6 clinical outcome variables: main symptoms, general anxiety, depression, impairment, general psychopathology and social integration. Long-term outcome has been investigated up to 2 years past interventions. For generalized anxiety disorder, applied relaxation yielded the highest effect size for main symptoms (ES = 1.65), but was investigated in 2 groups of intervention only. The effect size for cognitive-behavioral therapy was almost as high (ES = 1.43) and was like cognitive therapy (ES = 1.20) investigated in 5 groups. Both treatments did not differ statistically in their efficacy. Long-term outcome analyses suggest that both interventions were successful in maintaining their treatment gains. In contrast to these results, psychodynamic therapy could not maintain its good treatment gains (ES = 1.13) over 6 months (ES = 0.29). For social phobia, exposure treatment yielded the highest effect size (ES = 1.76) for main symptoms. The mean effect size for cognitive-behavioral therapy was lower (ES = 1.07), but did not differ statistically from the effects of exposure. Treatment gains were maintained up to 18 months. In addition, the maintenance of treatment gains for cognitive-behavioral therapy has been shown in 2 studies with long term follow-ups between 3 and 5 years.

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