Task concentration training versus applied relaxation, in combination with cognitive therapy, for social phobia patients with fear of blushing, trembling, and sweating

Behav Res Ther. 2006 Aug;44(8):1199-210. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2005.08.010. Epub 2005 Oct 12.

Abstract

Social phobia patients with fear of blushing, trembling, sweating and/or freezing as main complaint (N = 65) were randomly assigned to either task concentration training (TCT) or applied relaxation (AR) both followed by cognitive therapy (CT). Measurements took place before and after wait-list, after TCT or AR (within-test), after CT (post-test), at 3-months and at 1-year follow-up. Effects were assessed on fear of showing bodily symptoms (the central outcome variable), social phobia, other psychopathology, social skills, self-consciousness, self-focused attention, and dysfunctional beliefs. No changes occurred during wait-list. Both treatments were highly effective. TCT was superior to AR in reducing fear of bodily symptoms and dysfunctional beliefs at within-test. This difference disappeared after CT, at post-test and at 3-months follow-up. However, at 1-year follow-up the combination TCT-CT was superior to AR-CT in reducing fear of bodily symptoms, and effect sizes for TCT-CT reached 3. Furthermore, at all assessment moments TCT or the combination TCT-CT was superior to AR-CT in reducing self-consciousness and self-focused attention. The superior long-term effect of TCT on fear of showing bodily symptoms is explained by lasting changes in attentional focus.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention*
  • Blushing / psychology*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Fear
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phobic Disorders / psychology
  • Phobic Disorders / therapy*
  • Relaxation Therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome