Treatment for Anxiety Disorders
Efficacy to Effectiveness to Implementation
Published In: Behaviour Research and Therapy, v. 47, no. 11, Nov. 2009, p. 931-937
Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2008
Anxiety disorders are common, costly and debilitating, and yet often unrecognized or inadequately treated in real world, primary care settings. Our group has been researching ways of delivering evidence-based treatment for anxiety in primary care settings, with special interest to preserving the fidelity of the treatment while at the same time promoting its sustainability once the research is over. In this paper, the authors describe the programs they have developed and our directions for future research. Our first study evaluated the efficacy of CBT and expert pharmacotherapy recommendations for panic disorder in primary care, using a collaborative care model of service delivery (CCAP). Symptom, disability and mental health functioning measures were superior for the intervention group compared to treatment as usual both in the short term and the long term, although also more costly. In our ongoing CALM study, we have extended our population to include panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and posttraumatic disorder, while at the same time utilizing clinicians with limited mental health care experience. In addition to pharmacotherapy management, we developed a computer-assisted CBT that guides both novice clinician and patient, thereby contributing to sustainability once the research is over. the authors have also incorporated a measurement based approach to treatment planning, using a web-based tracking system of patient status. To date, the computer-assisted CBT program has been shown to be acceptable to clinicians and patients. Clinicians rated the program highly, and patients engaged in the program. Future directions for our research include dissemination and implementation of the CALM program, testing potential alternations to the CALM program, and distance delivery of CALM.