A randomized controlled trial of internet-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy for adolescent anxiety disorders in a routine clinical care setting with and without parent sessions.
Waite P., Marshall T., Creswell C.
BACKGROUND: Computerized treatments have been shown to be effective in young people with anxiety disorders within research settings. The aims of this study were to evaluate a self-completed, therapist-supported online treatment for adolescent anxiety disorders in a routine clinical care setting and examine whether additional sessions for parents improved treatment outcome. METHOD: Sixty adolescents (13-18 years) referred by primary and secondary care services for treatment of an anxiety disorder and their parent(s) were randomly allocated to begin treatment immediately or after a 16-week waitlist. Half the parents (receiving treatment immediately or after a waitlist) were allocated to receive sessions themselves. Assessments were conducted pre- and posttreatment and at 6-month follow-up. RESULTS: There was no significant difference posttreatment between the immediate treatment and waitlist groups in remission of primary anxiety disorder (Odds Ratio (OR) = 2.19, 95% CI: 0.72-6.70). Parent sessions did not significantly improve adolescent outcomes immediately or at 6-month follow-up (OR = 0.75, 95% CI: 0.26-2.15; OR = 1.14, 95% CI: 0.42-3.15). CONCLUSIONS: Within a routine clinical care setting, a therapist-supported online treatment failed to deliver significantly better outcomes for adolescents with anxiety disorders than a waitlist. Further research is needed to develop more effective treatments for this population.