Internet-delivered acceptance-based behaviour therapy for generalized anxiety disorder: A randomized controlled trial

Behav Res Ther. 2016 Feb;77:86-95. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2015.12.007. Epub 2015 Dec 21.


Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a disabling condition which can be treated with cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT). The present study tested the effects of therapist-guided internet-delivered acceptance-based behaviour therapy on symptoms of GAD and quality of life. An audio CD with acceptance and mindfulness exercises and a separate workbook were also included in the treatment. Participants diagnosed with GAD (N = 103) were randomly allocated to immediate therapist-guided internet-delivered acceptance-based behaviour therapy or to a waiting-list control condition. A six month follow-up was also included. Results using hierarchical linear modelling showed moderate to large effects on symptoms of GAD (Cohen's d = 0.70 to 0.98), moderate effects on depressive symptoms (Cohen's d = 0.51 to 0.56), and no effect on quality of life. Follow-up data showed maintained effects. While there was a 20% dropout rate, sensitivity analyses showed that dropouts did not differ in their degree of change during treatment. To conclude, our study suggests that internet-delivered acceptance-based behaviour therapy can be effective in reducing the symptoms of GAD.

Keywords: Acceptance; Generalized anxiety disorder; Internet-based behaviour therapy; Mindfulness; Randomized controlled trial.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy*
  • Behavior
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods
  • Depression / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Mindfulness / methods
  • Quality of Life
  • Sweden
  • Therapy, Computer-Assisted / methods*