A randomized controlled trial of online versus clinic-based CBT for adolescent anxiety

Spence, Susan H., Donovan, Caroline L., March, Sonja, Gamble, Amanda, Anderson, Renee, Prosser, Samantha and Kenardy, Justin (2011) A randomized controlled trial of online versus clinic-based CBT for adolescent anxiety. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 79 5: 629-642. doi:10.1037/a0024512

Author Spence, Susan H.
Donovan, Caroline L.
March, Sonja
Gamble, Amanda
Anderson, Renee
Prosser, Samantha
Kenardy, Justin
Title A randomized controlled trial of online versus clinic-based CBT for adolescent anxiety
Journal name Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1939-2117
Publication date 2011-10-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1037/a0024512
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 79
Issue 5
Start page 629
End page 642
Total pages 14
Place of publication Washington, DC, United States
Publisher American Psychological Association
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: The study examined the relative efficacy of online (NET) versus clinic (CLIN) delivery of
cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) in the treatment of anxiety disorders in adolescents. Method: Participants
included 115 clinically anxious adolescents aged 12 to 18 years and their parent(s). Adolescents
were randomly assigned to NET, CLIN, or wait list control (WLC) conditions. The treatment groups
received equivalent CBT content. Clinical diagnostic interviews and questionnaire assessments were
completed 12 weeks after baseline and at 6- and 12-month follow-ups. Results: Assessment at 12 weeks
post-baseline showed significantly greater reductions in anxiety diagnoses and anxiety symptoms for
both NET and CLIN conditions compared with the WLC. These improvements were maintained or
further enhanced for both conditions, with minimal differences between them, at 6- and 12-month
follow-ups. Seventy-eight percent of adolescents in the NET group (completer sample) no longer met
criteria for the principal anxiety diagnosis at 12-month follow-up compared with 80.6% in the CLIN
group. Ratings of treatment credibility from both parents and adolescents were high for NET and
equivalent to CLIN. Satisfaction ratings by adolescents were equivalent for NET and CLIN conditions,
whereas parents indicated slightly higher satisfaction ratings for the CLIN format. Conclusions: Online
delivery of CBT, with minimal therapist support, is equally efficacious as clinic-based, face-to-face
therapy in the treatment of anxiety disorders among adolescents. This approach offers a credible
alternative to clinic-based therapy, with benefits of reduced therapist time and greater accessibility for
families who have difficulty accessing clinic-based CBT.
Keyword Adolescent
Cognitive behavior therapy
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes This publication is for the Centre of National Research on Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine (CONROD)

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
School of Psychology Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 84 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 95 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sat, 06 Aug 2011, 01:05:57 EST by Chesne McGrath on behalf of Medicine - Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital