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Háskólinn í Reykjavík > Samfélagssvið / School of Social Sciences > MSc Sálfræðideild / Department of Psychology >

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  • Titill er á ensku Improving adherence to a web-based cognitive-behavioural therapy program for social anxiety with group sessions: randomised control trial
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  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    Background: Untreated social anxiety disorder (SAD) often leads to the development of other serious mental health conditions. Individuals with social anxiety rarely seek treatment and when they do, they commonly receive non-evidence based, and ineffective treatments. Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) has been demonstrated to be the best treatment technique to treat social anxiety. Web-based CBT programs can be guaranteed to adhere to evidence-based treatment procedures. The main issue with scalable web-based treatment is low treatment adherence.
    Objective: The aim of this study was to test whether adding group sessions to a fully automated web-based CBT program for social anxiety, Overcome Social Anxiety (OSA), would increase treatment adherence.
    Method: Potential participants applied to the study by answering an online eligibility questionnaire and SIAS, BFNE and QOLS. 69 participants were accepted, randomly divided into three equally sized groups, and given a four-month access to the OSA program. The program is seven modules in total. There were three different group conditions: experimental condition where participants additionally got three 45-minute online group sessions covering social anxiety specific psychoeducation; placebo condition where participants additionally got three 45 minutes of led progressive muscle relaxation group sessions; and control condition where participants did not get group sessions. Participants in the experimental and placebo conditions were asked to complete a certain amount of treatment modules before each group session. After the study ended, participants were again asked to answer SIAS, BFNE and QOLS. Adherence was measured by modules completed and efficacy by change in pre to post questionnaire scores.
    Results: Treatment adherence significantly differed between the conditions F(2,43)=5.06, p=.011, η2=.19 at p<.05. On average, participants assigned to the placebo condition completed a significantly bigger portion of the program (M=4.75, SD=2.70, 95% CI=3.03 – 6.47) compared to those in the control condition (M=1.83, SD=2.62, 95% CI=0.69 – 2.96) at p<.05. At p<.05 there was a significant decrease in BFNE scores for all groups and for total participants there was significant increase in scoring on QOLS. No significant difference was found in treatment efficacy between groups measured by SIAS, BFNE or QOLS at p<.05.
    Conclusion: Our results indicate that online group relaxation sessions can positively affect treatment adherence to OSA but do not reduce SAD symptoms when compared to doing the program on its own. Due to a small and homogenous sample the results should be generalised with caution.

  • 24.6.2021

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