SET-C versus fluoxetine in the treatment of childhood social phobia

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2007 Dec;46(12):1622-32. doi: 10.1097/chi.0b013e318154bb57.


Objective: To determine the efficacy of fluoxetine, pill placebo, and Social Effectiveness Therapy for Children (SET-C) for children and adolescents with social phobia.

Method: Youths ages 7 to 17 were randomly assigned to one of the treatment conditions. Outcome was evaluated using self-reports, parent ratings, independent evaluator ratings, and behavioral assessment.

Results: Both fluoxetine and SET-C were more efficacious than placebo in reducing social distress and behavioral avoidance and increasing general functioning. SET-C was superior to fluoxetine on each of these measures and was the only treatment superior to placebo in terms of improving social skills, decreasing anxiety in specific social interactions, and enhancing ratings of social competence. Furthermore, whereas fluoxetine appears to exert maximum effect by 8 weeks, SET-C provides continued improvement through week 12.

Conclusions: Both fluoxetine and SET-C are efficacious for social phobia, although SET-C appears to provide added benefit by enhancing social skills.

Trial registration: NCT00043537.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Fluoxetine / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phobic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Phobic Disorders / drug therapy
  • Phobic Disorders / therapy*
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Fluoxetine

Associated data