Specific versus generic psychological therapy for adolescents with social anxiety disorder: a comparison of Clark & Wells condition-specific cognitive therapy adapted for adolescents, with the generic cognitive behaviour therapy that is currently used in adolescent services

Record ID 32016000662
Authors' objectives: Aims We will adapt a highly effective psychological therapy for social anxiety disorder in adults (Cognitive Therapy ) so that it is suitable and acceptable for adolescents and can be delivered in NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). We will conduct a feasibility trial to establish how many young people will take part in a trial and what outcomes are relevant and appropriate for a full trial. Background Social anxiety disorder is the most common anxiety disorder and third most common of all types of mental health difficulties, with lifetime prevalence rates in Europe of 6.7% (range 3.9-13.7%). People with social anxiety disorder are extremely scared of social situations because they fear embarrassing themselves or being humiliated. Social anxiety disorder usually starts around the age of 13 years, and typically does not go away without treatment. People with social anxiety disorder are more likely to develop other mental health difficulties (for example, depression and drug and alcohol abuse), underachieve at school, have less well-paid jobs, fewer friends, and be less likely to get married than those without these difficulties. Clark & Wells Cognitive Therapy (CT) is a talking therapy for adults with social anxiety disorder which produces excellent outcomes. The treatment is not currently being used with adolescents. Instead, in CAMHS young people with social anxiety disorder usually receive a type of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) that was developed for all anxiety problems. CBT is effective for anxiety disorders in young people, but unfortunately those with social anxiety disorder do not do as well as those with other anxiety disorders from this general type of CBT and achieve only modest outcomes. We have good reason to think that CT based on the Clark & Wells' model might be suitable for young people as well as adults. Members of our team have begun to adapt the treatment with excellent results. This recent work suggests that CT that specifically targets social anxiety disorder has great promise for use in NHS CAMHS. Design and methods used We will adapt CT for social anxiety disorder for young people, train a group of CAMHS clinicians to deliver it and assess their competency, and examine the feasibility of a trial comparing CT to current practice (CBT). We will explore how many young people take part in our study, what they think of CT and what outcomes we should assess in a full trial. Patient and public involvement One of our team (GS) is a past patient and will work with young people and their carers to develop materials, make sure that CT and the trial processes are acceptable, and identify what outcomes are important to them. He will also work with young people and their carers to ensure that the study findings are communicated to patients and the public in a useful way. Dissemination We will share our results with professionals, young people and their carers through journals, talks at conferences, newsletters, and online information.
Project Status: Ongoing
Anticipated Publish Date: 2021
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: England, United Kingdom
MeSH Terms
  • Adolescent Health Services
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Adolescent
  • Cognition Disorders
  • Social Behavior
  • Phobic Disorders
  • Mental Health Services
  • Anxiety Disorders
Organisation Name: NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme
Contact Address: NIHR Journals Library, National Institute for Health and Care Research, Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre, Alpha House, University of Southampton Science Park, Southampton SO16 7NS, UK
Contact Name: journals.library@nihr.ac.uk
Contact Email: journals.library@nihr.ac.uk
Copyright: Queen's Printer and Controller of HMSO
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