Objective: To follow 61 participants (7-11 years old) from a study that compared three school-based interventions for anxious children: group cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for children, group CBT for children plus parent training, and no-treatment control to determine whether posttreatment benefits are sustained longitudinally.
Method: Parent, child, and clinician report measures of child anxiety were completed at 3, 6, and 12 months posttreatment. Semistructured diagnostic interviews were administered at 6- and 12-month follow-ups. For initial analyses, the group CBT and group CBT plus parent training conditions were collapsed into one group and compared to control. When significant results were found, each active treatment group was compared to control.
Results: Across several measures, the collapsed CBT group sustained significant improvement in anxiety severity and impairment across a 12-month period compared to control. There were no significant differences between the three groups on remission of baseline anxiety disorders or incidence of new anxiety disorders during the follow-up. Several parent-report measures at 3 and 6 months posttreatment suggested that group CBT for children plus parent training provided additional benefit over the group CBT for children when each was compared to the control group.
Conclusions: School-based CBT appears effective in decreasing anxiety symptoms up to 12 months posttreatment for anxious children.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00557648.