This course is a systematic review of the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy for the treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder in Older Adults. It contains a meta-analysis and a lot of statistics, but it will provide you with scientific information about the efficacy of CBT with GAD in older adults. This course is based upon material published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and is available as an open access article.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common disorder in older adults creating functional impairment, and psychotherapy is the preferred treatment option. Meta-analytic methods sought to determine the efficacy of outpatient cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with respect to the hallmark feature of GAD – uncontrolled and excessive worry. In order to optimize clinical applicability, variables associated with GAD treatment outcomes were also examined. Systematic search of relevant databases and iterative searches of references from articles retrieved. All studies were required to have been a randomized control trial (RCT), to have used the Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ) or its abbreviated version (PSWQ-A) as an outcome measure, and to have conducted CBT with outpatient older adults. Fourteen RCTs (N = 985) were suitable and random-effects meta-analyses and univariate meta-regressions were conducted. At the end of treatment, and six-month follow-up, significant treatment effects favoring CBT were found in comparison to a waitlist or treatment-as-usual. When CBT was compared with active controls, a small non-significant treatment advantage was found for CBT at the end of treatment, with equivalence of outcomes at follow-up. Treatment effect size of CBT for GAD was significantly associated with attrition rates and depression outcomes. CBT is more helpful than having no treatment for GAD in later life. However, whether CBT shows long-term durability, or is superior to other commonly available treatments (such as supportive psychotherapy), remains to be tested. The relationship between treatment effects for GAD and depression following CBT warrants further research.
This course on efficacy of CBT for anxiety is designed for social workers, professional counselors, psychologists, nurses, and substance abuse counselors, who do clinical work. This course is appropriate for intermediate and advanced level practitioners who wish to develop their understanding of efficacy of CBT for anxiety. The course material includes a literature review of cognitive behavioral therapy. It may also be useful for licensed clinicians who require clinical continuing education courses for license renewal.
The course is based on a journal article which includes research. It contains statistical analysis and data that some clinicians enjoy reading and others do not. A major benefit of reading research-based articles for continuing education is they provide practitioners with the latest findings in their field.
Authors: Hall, Kellet, Espinoza Berrios, Bains, and Shonagh
Learning Objectives: This course will provide the practitioner with detailed information regarding efficacy of CBT for anxiety. Specifically, a professional will:
- Describe the benefits of using CBT over other types of therapy for the treatment of GAD
- Recognize the link between GAD and depression in older adults
- Explain the results of using CBT on patients with GAD
Citation: Hall, J., Kellett, S., Berrios, R., Bains, M. K., & Scott, S. (2016). Efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy for generalized anxiety disorder in older adults: systematic review, meta-analysis, and meta-regression. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 24(11), 1063-1073.
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