Social anxiety disorder: psychological interventions effective and improve functioning

  • Yang L & al.
  • Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry
  • 13 Jul 2018

  • curated by Sarfaroj Khan
  • UK Clinical Digest
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  • Meta-analysis suggests that psychological interventions are effective in treating social anxiety disorder in children and adolescents and can improve depression, QoL, and functioning outcomes.
  • The authors advise caution while interpreting the findings because of heterogeneity between studies.

Why this matters

  • The effect and long-term sequelae of social anxiety disorder among children and adolescents highlight the requirement for effective interventions.
  • This is the first meta-analysis of prospective randomised trials investigating psychological interventions vs control conditions.

Study design

  • Meta-analysis of 17 randomised controlled trials which evaluated psychological interventions for social anxiety disorder in children and adolescents between 2000 and 2017.
  • 1134 participants were included.
  • Funding: None disclosed.

Key results

  • Psychological interventions were more effective than control conditions (standard mean difference [SMD], −1.13; P<.001>
  • Remission rate was significantly higher with psychological interventions vs control conditions (39.14% vs 3.20%; risk ratio [RR], 8.99; P<.001>
  • All-cause dropout rates were not statistically different between intervention groups and control conditions (21.28% vs 15.01%; RR, 1.00; P=.98).
  • Psychological interventions significantly improved QoL/functioning (SMD, 0.79; P<.001 and depression outcomes p=".001).</li">
  • In subgroup analysis, different intervention programme showed significant difference (P<.001>
  • intervention in adolescents with generalised social phobia programme: SMD, −2.68; P<.001>
  • skills for social and academic success programme: SMD, −0.52; P<.001>
  • social effectiveness training for children programme: SMD, −0.80; P<.001>
  • others: SMD, −0.58; P<.001.>


  • High heterogeneity between studies.

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