Psychological treatment of anxiety in primary care: A meta-analysis.

W.M. Seekles, P. Cuijpers, R.N. Kok, A.T.F. Beekman, H.W. van Marwijk, A. van Straten

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28 Citations (Scopus)


Background Guidelines and mental healthcare models suggest the use of psychological treatment for anxiety disorders in primary care but systematic estimates of the effect sizes in primary care settings are lacking. The aim of this study was to examine the effectiveness of psychological therapies in primary care for anxiety disorders. Method The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), EMBASE, Medline, PsycINFO and Pubmed databases were searched in July 2010. Manuscripts describing psychological treatment for anxiety disorders/increased level of anxiety symptoms in primary care were included if the research design was a randomized controlled trial (RCT) and if the psychological treatment was compared with a control group. Results In total, 1343 abstracts were identified. Of these, 12 manuscripts described an RCT comparing psychological treatment for anxiety with a control group in primary care. The pooled standardized effect size (12 comparisons) for reduced symptoms of anxiety at post-intervention was d = 0.57 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.29-0.84, p = 0.00, the number needed to treat (NNT) = 3.18]. Heterogeneity was significant among the studies (I
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-361
JournalPsychological Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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