Effectiveness of group cognitive-behavioral treatment for childhood anxiety in community clinics

Behav Res Ther. 2010 Nov;48(11):1067-77. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2010.07.007. Epub 2010 Jul 29.


This study evaluated the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral treatment for childhood anxiety in a community clinic setting in Hong Kong, China. Forty-five clinically-referred children (age 6-11 years) were randomly assigned to either a cognitive-behavioral treatment program or a waitlist-control condition. Children in the treatment condition showed significant reduction in anxiety symptoms-both statistically and clinically-whereas children in the waitlist condition did not. After the waitlist period was over, the control group also received the treatment program and showed a similar reduction in symptoms. For the full sample of 45 children, the effectiveness of the intervention was significant immediately after treatment and in 3- and 6-month follow-ups. In addition, children's anxiety cognition and their ability to cope with anxiety-provoking situations fully mediated the treatment gains. These results offer empirical support for cognitive-behavioral treatment programs in a non-Western cultural context and plausible mediators for how cognitive-behavioral therapy works.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy*
  • Child
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Community Mental Health Centers
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychotherapy, Group*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome