Cognitive–behavioral therapy modifies the naturalistic course of social anxiety disorder: Findings from an ABA design study in routine clinical practices
Article first published online: 15 APR 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences © 2013 Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology
Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Volume 67, Issue 3, pages 139–147, April 2013
How to Cite
Furukawa, T. A., Nakano, Y., Funayama, T., Ogawa, S., Ietsugu, T., Noda, Y., Chen, J., Watanabe, N. and Akechi, T. (2013), Cognitive–behavioral therapy modifies the naturalistic course of social anxiety disorder: Findings from an ABA design study in routine clinical practices. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 67: 139–147. doi: 10.1111/pcn.12035
- Issue published online: 15 APR 2013
- Article first published online: 15 APR 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 19 JUN 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 17 JUN 2012
- Manuscript Received: 3 OCT 2011
- Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan
- cognitive–behavioral therapy;
- cohort study;
- social phobia
While randomized evidence appears to have established efficacy of cognitive–behavioral therapy (CBT) and some pharmacotherapy for social anxiety disorder (SAD), their real-world effectiveness has been called into question by long-term naturalistic cohort studies of patients with SAD as they show very low probability of recovery and sustained social dysfunctions despite some drug and psychological therapies.
The present study examines the effectiveness of group CBT for SAD in real-world settings (n = 62) by examining the course of patients' symptomatology and social functions through approximately 6 months on the waiting list, through 6 months receiving the manualized group CBT intervention consisting of 16 2-h sessions, and for 12 months after the treatment.
We found: (i) that the patients with SAD changed little or possibly worsened through the 6 months on the waiting list, although two in three of them were on antidepressants, benzodiazepines or both; (ii) that both their symptomatology and social function improved significantly and substantively through the group CBT; and (iii) that this improvement was maintained through the 3- and 12-month follow ups.
We can implement and must disseminate evidence-based, effective CBT for more patients with SAD to lessen their suffering and stop the perpetuation of their symptoms.