Study shows complementary therapy effective for child anxiety

Wednesday 5th November, 2008

A new study has identified Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (a complementary therapy) as being the most effective way of treating children suffering with anxiety disorders.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy and this latest research used a combination of CBT with medication, and each treatment individually, to find which would be most suited to treating anxiety disorders in children.

Anxiety disorders develop as a response to stress or danger and have psychological and physical symptoms. Among children, they are the most common type of mental disorder.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy was used alongside an anti-depressant medication and then each therapy was used individually to help treat 488 children aged 7 to 17 over a 12 week period. The children were suffering with either general anxiety disorder, ADHD, behavioural problems or social phobias.

The CBT/Drug combination was found to improve the condition by 81%, CBT alone had a 61% improvement rate and drug therapy alone had a 55% improvement.

The results highlighted the beneficial effects of drugs and complementary therapies working together as well as the individual positive effects of CBT on its own when treating anxiety disorders.

Researchers were keen to show that all the treatments were safe although some children did develop side-effects from the anti-depressant drug called ‘sertraline’. No side effects were seen from CBT treatment showing that high-quality Cognitive Behaviour Therapy with or without conventional medication is effective in treating child anxiety disorders.

Learn more about CBT here

Learn more about anxiety here



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