A randomized controlled trial of ecological momentary intervention plus brief group therapy for generalized anxiety disorder

Psychotherapy (Chic). 2014 Jun;51(2):198-206. doi: 10.1037/a0032519. Epub 2013 Sep 23.


Momentary intervention has been proposed as a cost-effective, generalizable, and ecologically valid method to increase the efficiency of face-to-face cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). The purpose of the current pilot study was to evaluate the efficacy of a six-session palmtop computer-assisted Group CBT for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) (CAGT6) in comparison with a six-session Group CBT for GAD without the computer (CBGT6) and typical (12 session) Group CBT for GAD (CBGT12) in a randomized controlled trial. Thirty-four individuals with a primary diagnosis of GAD were randomized to one of the three conditions and completed measures of GAD and anxiety before therapy, after therapy, and at 6-, and 12-month follow-ups. Results indicated that CAGT6 was superior to CBGT6 at posttreatment, but not significantly different from CBGT12. At 6- and 12-month follow-ups, CAGT6 was neither significantly different from CBGT6, nor from CBGT12. Percentages of individuals achieving reliable change on two of the three GAD measures favored CAGT6 over CBGT6 at posttreatment, suggesting promise for the added value of the mobile technology.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychotherapy, Group / methods*
  • Therapy, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome