The Efficacy of an Internet-Based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Intervention for Child Anxiety Disorders

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Abstract

Objective

To evaluate the efficacy of an Internet-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) approach to the treatment of child anxiety disorders.

Methods

Seventy-three children with anxiety disorders, aged 7–12 years, and their parents were randomly assigned to either an Internet-based CBT (NET) or wait-list (WL) condition. Clinical diagnostic assessment and parent and child questionnaires were completed before and after treatment. The NET condition was reassessed at 6-month follow-up.

Results

At posttreatment assessment, children in the NET condition showed small but significantly greater reductions in anxiety symptoms and increases in functioning than WL participants. These improvements were enhanced during the 6-month follow-up period, with 75% of NET children free of their primary diagnosis.

Conclusions

Internet delivery of CBT for child anxiety offers promise as a way of increasing access to treatment for this population. Future research is needed to examine ways to increase treatment compliance and further enhance the impact of treatment.

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