A randomized controlled trial of guided internet-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy for older adults with generalized anxiety

J Anxiety Disord. 2016 Jan;37:1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2015.10.006. Epub 2015 Nov 2.


This study aimed to establish the efficacy of guided Internet-delivered cognitive-behaviour therapy (ICBT) for older adults with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or subclinical GAD. Participants were randomized to receive seven modules of ICBT (n=24) or to a waiting list condition (WLC; n=22). Faster improvements in symptoms of anxiety and depression were observed for participants in the ICBT condition relative to the WLC, with large between-group effect sizes on the Generalized anxiety disorder-7 (d=.85) and the Patient health questionnaire (d=1.17) obtained at post-treatment. Further reduction in generalized anxiety symptoms was reported over the one-month follow-up. Treatment effects were replicated when control participants subsequently underwent treatment. Higher ratings of treatment credibility, but not expectancy, prior to ICBT predicted improvements over time. The results support the efficacy of ICBT as treatment for older adults with GAD.

Keywords: Generalized anxiety disorder; Guided internet-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy; Multilevel mixed models; Older adults; Randomized controlled trial.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence
  • Middle Aged
  • Therapy, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Treatment Outcome