Long-term effectiveness of CBT for anxiety disorders in an adult outpatient clinic sample: a follow-up study

Behav Res Ther. 2013 Feb;51(2):82-6. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2012.10.003. Epub 2012 Oct 30.


The short-term efficacy and effectiveness of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for treating anxiety disorders in adults has been well established by a multitude of clinical studies and well-controlled randomized trials. However, though the long-term efficacy of CBT as a treatment modality is fairly well established, the degree of its long-term effectiveness has yet to be fully evaluated. Thus, the present study sought to assess both the immediate and long-term effectiveness of individually-administered CBT for the treatment of anxiety disorders in an outpatient psychological clinic. Individuals with a primary diagnosis of Panic Disorder, Social Phobia, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder who had received 3 or more sessions of CBT were assessed for symptom severity and improvement prior to initiating treatment, at posttreatment, and at one-year follow-up. Symptom severity and improvement ratings were used to categorize patients as "responders" or "remitters" at posttreatment, and "maintained responders" or "maintained remitters" at follow-up. Findings demonstrated that posttreatment success as responder and remitter was significantly maintained at one-year follow-up. Additionally, pre- and posttreatment severity and posttreatment improvement scores were also predictive of maintenance. Furthermore, effect sizes were used to compare the effectiveness of CBT in the present clinical sample to research treatment outcomes demonstrated by previous efficacy studies.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult