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EFFECT OF TRANSDIAGNOSTIC CBT FOR ANXIETY DISORDERS ON COMORBID DIAGNOSES

Authors


Correspondence to: Peter J. Norton, Department of Psychology, 126 Heyne Bldg., University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204-5022. E-mail: pnorton@uh.edu.

Abstract

Objective

The present study examines the effectiveness of a 12-week transdiagnostic cognitive-behavioral group in reducing comorbid diagnoses.

Method

Data from 79 treatment completers (60.8% women; M age = 32.57 years) during three previous trials of transdiagnostic cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) were examined to compare treatment effects between those with and without comorbid diagnoses. Additionally, rates of remission of comorbid diagnoses were compared to published diagnosis-specific CBT trials.

Results

Results indicate that a majority of clients (64.6%) had at least one comorbid disorder and that those with comorbid diagnoses had higher primary diagnosis severity scores than did those without comorbid diagnoses. The presence of a comorbid diagnosis at pretreatment was not associated with differential improvement in primary diagnosis severity following treatment. Two-thirds of completers with comorbid diagnoses at pretreatment (66.7%) no longer met criteria for a clinically severe comorbid diagnosis at posttreatment, a rate higher than that associated with most trials of diagnosis-specific CBT for anxiety disorders used as benchmarks.

Conclusions

These results suggest that transdiagnostic cognitive-behavioral group treatment for anxiety may be associated with greater decreases in comorbidity than traditional diagnosis-specific CBT.

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