Evidence-based treatment of anxiety and phobia in children and adolescents: current status and effects on the emotional response

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Research on treatments for childhood anxiety disorders has increased greatly in recent decades. As a result, it has become increasingly necessary to synthesize the findings of these treatment studies into reviews in order to draw wider conclusions on the efficacy of treatments for childhood anxiety. Previous reviews of this literature have used varying criteria to determine the evidence base. For the current review, stricter criteria consistent with the original Task Force (1995) guidelines were used to select and evaluate studies. Studies were divided by anxiety disorder; however, many studies combine various anxiety disorders in their samples. As a result, these were included in a combined anxiety disorder group. Using more traditional guidelines, studies were assigned a status of well-established, probably efficacious, or experimental based on the available literature and the quality of the studies. While some treatments do meet the criteria for well-established status, it is clear from this examination that gaps remain and replication is necessary to establish many of these treatments as efficacious. In addition, there still appears to be a lack of research on the effects of treatment on the physiological and cognitive aspects of fear and anxiety.

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Clinical psychology review

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