A Pilot Study of Transdiagnostic Group Cognitive-behavior Therapy for Anxiety: An Intensive Weekend Intervention.
Anxiety disorders are highly prevalent and can cause serious functional impairment. Cognitive-behavioral treatments are effective but they are not always readily available. One factor contributing to this problem is the large number of disorder-specific treatments that require a high level of clinician training and resources, despite the similarity in the mechanisms underlying the various anxiety disorders and their treatments. Group-based, transdiagnostic cognitive-behavioral therapy (TCBT) has been shown to reduce the burden on clinicians while maintaining strong positive treatment outcomes. Furthermore, long courses of treatment may limit some individuals’ ability to participate because of issues related to transportation, work, or childcare. Research has supported the efficacy of brief, intensive treatment for anxiety. The goal of the study presented here was to combine these 2 innovative treatment modalities by examining the feasibility and acceptability of TCBT provided in an intensive weekend format. The results of this pilot study indicated that this format was acceptable to a sample of Veterans (N=13) based on their feedback. This pilot study also demonstrated that the format was feasible, as all Veterans who initiated treatment completed the entire program (N=8). Preliminary outcome data suggested that TCBT delivered in an intensive weekend format may have positive effects for individuals with anxiety, including reduction in symptoms of anxiety and depression as well as improved overall functioning. Clinical implications and directions for future research are discussed.