An Open Trial of the Anxiety Action Plan ( AxAP): A Brief Pediatrician-Delivered Intervention for Anxious Youth

Child Youth Care Forum. 2016 Feb;45(1):19-32. doi: 10.1007/s10566-015-9320-3. Epub 2015 May 29.


Background: Anxiety disorders in youth are among the most common psychiatric disorders, yet the majority of affected youth do not receive treatment. One approach to improving access to care is identification and intervention within the primary care setting.

Objective: This manuscript presents data from a single group pre-post open trial of the Anxiety Action Plan (AxAP), a brief pediatrician-delivered intervention to reduce anxiety in youth who present in the primary care setting.

Methods: Eleven pediatricians conducted the intervention with 25 youth (mean age 11.16 years; range 6-18 years) with elevated levels of anxiety in their primary care practice setting.

Results: Pediatricians' ratings of the AxAP training were positive (mean overall satisfaction was 4.82 on 5 point scale). Pediatricians and parents also reported high levels of intervention satisfaction and acceptability. Parents (but not children) who completed the intervention reported significant reductions from pre- to post-intervention on measures of child anxiety severity, impairment, and caregiver burden (Cohen's d 1.06, .75, .60, respectively).

Conclusions: Findings suggest that a brief, pediatrician-delivered intervention in primary care settings appears feasible and beneficial to patients. Additional controlled evaluation of the intervention's efficacy is needed.