Attention Bias Modification Treatment for children with anxiety disorders who do not respond to cognitive behavioral therapy: a case series

J Anxiety Disord. 2014 Mar;28(2):154-9. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2013.09.001. Epub 2013 Sep 16.


Evidence is emerging to support the promise of Attention Bias Modification Treatment (ABMT), a computer-based attention training program, in reducing anxiety in children. ABMT has not been tested as an adjuvant for children with anxiety disorders who do not respond to Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This case series presents findings from an open trial of ABMT among six children (four girls; M age = 11.2 years) who completed a CBT protocol and continued to meet diagnostic criteria for an anxiety disorder. All children completed the ABMT protocol with no canceled or missed sessions. Child self-ratings on anxiety symptoms and depressive symptoms significantly decreased from pretreatment to posttreatment, as did parent ratings on child anxiety-related impairment. Parent ratings on child anxiety and internalizing symptoms displayed non-significant decreases from pretreatment to posttreatment. These findings support the potential promise of ABMT as a feasible adjuvant treatment that reduces anxiety and impairment among child anxiety CBT nonresponders.

Keywords: Anxiety; Attention; Attention bias; Children; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy*
  • Attention*
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Child
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Treatment Outcome