Cognitive and behavioral treatments for anxiety disorders: a review of meta-analytic findings

J Clin Psychol. 2004 Apr;60(4):429-41. doi: 10.1002/jclp.10255.


Behavioral and cognitive psychotherapies are the most widely studied psychological interventions for anxiety disorders. In the present article, the results of ten years of meta-analytic studies on psychotherapies for the various anxiety disorders are reviewed and the relative effectiveness of cognitive and behavioral therapeutic methods is examined. Meta-analytic results support the effectiveness of combined cognitive and behavioral approaches for anxiety disorders. Pure behavioral therapies also are effective and appear to work as well as combined treatment for some disorders. Due to the small number of outcome studies involving pure cognitive treatments, reliable conclusions about the effectiveness of this approach cannot be offered. Additional theoretical and practical considerations are discussed.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / therapy
  • Phobic Disorders / therapy
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy