- In children and adolescents with acute anxiety, a network meta-analysis of 11 psychotherapies revealed that only group cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) was significantly more effective than the other psychotherapies and control conditions.
- More research is necessary to determine the best therapies for individual anxiety disorders.
Why this matters
- Debate continues about the best psychotherapy components and format for acute anxiety in this population, with few comparison studies.
- The results suggest that group CBT may be the first choice for psychological therapy in this population.
- Network meta-analysis of 101 randomized controlled trials including 6625 participants (treatment, 11 different psychotherapies; 4 control conditions).
- Funding: NIHR Oxford Cognitive Health Clinical Research Facility; Others.
- Most psychotherapies were significantly more effective than the waitlist control condition and no treatment (standardized mean difference [SMD] range, −2.80 to −1.64) at the end of follow-up (≤12 months).
- Group CBT was more effective than group CBT+ parenteral involvement and all control conditions at short-term follow-up (SMD range, −0.43 to −0.82).
- In terms of QoL/functioning, most CBT, but not behavioral therapy, showed significantly more benefit than psychological placebo and the waitlist condition (SMD range, 0.73-1.99).
- Small number of trials.
- Risk of bias.
Coauthored with Chitra Ravi, MPharm