Pooled patient-level meta-analysis of children and adults completing a computer-based anxiety intervention targeting attentional bias.
ABSTRACT: Computer-based approaches, such as Attention Bias Modification (ABM), could help improve access to care for anxiety. Study-level meta-analyses of ABM have produced conflicting findings and leave critical questions unresolved regarding ABM's mechanisms of action and clinical potential. We pooled patient-level datasets from randomized controlled trials of children and adults with high-anxiety. Attentional bias (AB) towards threat, the target mechanism of ABM, was tested as an outcome and a mechanistic mediator and moderator of anxiety reduction. Diagnostic remission and Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS) were clinical outcomes available in enough studies to enable pooling. Per-patient data were obtained on at least one outcome from 13/16 eligible studies [86% of eligible participants; n=778]. Significant main effects of ABM on diagnostic remission (ABM-22.6%, control-10.8%; OR=2.57; p=0.006) and AB (?* (95%CI)=-0.63 (-0.83, -0.42); p<0.00005) were observed. There was no main effect of ABM on LSAS. However, moderator analyses suggested ABM was effective for patients who were younger (?37y), trained in the lab, and/or assessed by clinicians. Under the same conditions where ABM was effective, mechanistic links between AB and anxiety reduction were supported. Under these specific circumstances, ABM reduces anxiety and acts through its target mechanism, supporting ABM's theoretical basis while simultaneously suggesting clinical indications and refinements to improve its currently limited clinical potential.
Project description:To examine the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of vilazodone for subjects (aged 18-75 years) with generalized social anxiety disorder.Forty-four subjects with generalized social anxiety disorder (DSM-IV-TR criteria) were randomized to vilazodone or placebo in a 12-week double-blind, flexible-dose trial. Change from baseline to endpoint on the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS) was the primary outcome measure. Secondary outcome measures included response and remission rates and changes in depression and anxiety. Data were collected between November 2012 and April 2014. The study was conducted at a private clinical trials facility in New York, New York.The mean baseline LSAS score was 91.9 (SD = 17.5) and the mean Clinical Global Impressions-Severity scale score was 5.3 (SD = 0.56), indicating marked to severe illness. There were no significant baseline differences in severity of social anxiety between the treatment groups. At the end of treatment, in the intent-to-treat sample (n = 39), the vilazodone group had improved significantly more than the placebo group by 14.3 points on the LSAS (t = 1.80, P = .04, one-tail test) (Cohen d = 0.58).The findings suggest that vilazodone may be a promising treatment for social anxiety disorder. Further study is needed given the limited sample size.ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01712321.
Project description:Only a minority of patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD) has a robust therapeutic response to evidence-based serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) treatment. To help improve the personalized medicine approach to psychiatric care, we evaluated several candidate genetic predictors of SSRI response in SAD. At the start of a randomized controlled trial (NCT00282828), 346 patients with SAD at three sites received protocol-driven, open-label treatment with sertraline, up to 200. mg/d over 10 weeks. Efficacy was determined using a continuous measure of outcome (Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS)) and dichotomous indicators of response (LSAS ≤ 50) and remission (LSAS ≤ 30). Predictors of efficacy were examined in multivariate regression models that included eight polymorphic variants in four candidate genes (four in RGS2, two in HTR2A, one in SLC6A2, and one in SLC6A4). Adjusting for genetic ancestral cluster and non-genetic predictors of response, all four single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in RGS2 predicted change in LSAS over time, at study-wise significance (p=0.00833), with the minor allele associated with less improvement over time. After adjusting for genetic ancestral cluster and non-genetic predictors of remission, two of the four RGS2 SNPs predicted likelihood of remission at or just below study-wise significance (p=0.025): rs4606 (AOR=0.49 (95% CI=0.27-0.90), p=0.022) and rs1819741 (AOR=0.50 (95% CI=0.28-0.92), p=0.027). Variation in RGS2, a gene previously shown to be associated with social anxiety phenotypes and serotonergic neurotransmission, may be a biomarker of the likelihood of substantially benefiting from sertraline among patients with SAD.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Cognitive-behavioral group therapy (CBGT) is a first-line treatment for social anxiety disorder (SAD). However, since many patients remain symptomatic post-treatment, there is a need for augmenting procedures. This randomized controlled trial (RCT) examined the potential augmentation effect of attention bias modification (ABM) for CBGT. METHODS:Fifty patients with SAD from three therapy groups were randomized to receive an 18-week standard CBGT with either ABM designed to shift attention away from threat (CBGT + ABM), or a placebo protocol not designed to modify threat-related attention (CBGT + placebo). Therapy groups took place in a large mental health center. Clinician and self-report measures of social anxiety and depression were acquired pre-treatment, post-treatment, and at 3-month follow-up. Attention bias was assessed at pre- and post-treatment. RESULTS:Patients randomized to the CBGT + ABM group, relative to those randomized to the CBGT + placebo group, showed greater reductions in clinician-rated SAD symptoms post-treatment, with effects maintained at 3-month follow-up. Group differences were not evident for self-report or attention-bias measures, with similar reductions in both groups. Finally, reduction in attention bias did not mediate the association between group and reduction in Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale Structured Interview (LSAS) scores. CONCLUSIONS:This is the first RCT to examine the possible augmenting effect of ABM added to group-based cognitive-behavioral therapy for adult SAD. Training patients' attention away from threat might augment the treatment response to standard CBGT in SAD, a possibility that could be further evaluated in large-scale RCTs.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:The present study aimed to estimate the comprehensive efficacy and tolerability of paroxetine in adult patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD). METHODS:We conducted a comprehensive literature review of the PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Web of Science, and ClinicalTrials databases for eligible randomized controlled trials (RCTs). The efficacy outcome was the mean change of different kinds of scale scores as well as response and remission rates. The secondary outcome was tolerability, defined as the discontinuation rate and the incidence of adverse events (AEs). RESULTS:Our meta-analysis included 13 RCTs. Mean changes in the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS) total score, fear and avoidance subscale of LSAS scores were all significantly greater in patients with SAD that received paroxetine compared to those received placebo (total: MD?=?13.46, 95%CI 10.59-16.32, P?<?.00001; fear: MD?=?6.76, 95%CI 4.89-8.62, P?<?.00001; avoidance: MD?=?6.54, 95%CI 4.63-8.45, P?<?.00001). Response and remission rates were both significantly greater in patients with SAD that received paroxetine compared to those received placebo (response: OR?=?3.02, 95%CI 2.30-3.97, P?<?.00001; remission: OR?=?3.14, 95%CI 2.25-4.39, P?<?.00001). There was no significant difference in discontinuation rate due to any reason between two groups (OR?=?1.06, 95%CI 0.81-1.39, P?=?.65). Discontinuation rate due to AEs was higher in paroxetine than placebo group (OR?=?3.41, 95%CI 2.45-4.72, P?<?.00001) whereas the rate due to lack of efficacy was higher in placebo as compared with paroxetine group (OR?=?0.14, 95%CI 0.09-0.22, P?<?.00001). The incidence of any AE was significantly increased in patients that received paroxetine (OR?=?1.83, 95%CI 1.43-2.35, P?<?.00001). CONCLUSION:Paroxetine was an effective and well-tolerated treatment option for adult patients with SAD.
Project description:<h4>Background and aims</h4>Internet-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (iCBT) for social anxiety disorder has been found effective, as attested by independently conducted randomized controlled trials in four languages. The study aim is to test the efficacy of an iCBT program in a culture where it was not tested before (i.e. Romania).<h4>Methods</h4>Participants (n = 76) were recruited, screened and randomized to either a nine-week guided iCBT or a wait-list control group in April and May 2012. Self-report measures were collected before (April 2012) and after the intervention (July 2012), as well as six months later (January 2013). Although social anxiety was assessed with multiple measures, the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale - Self Report version (LSAS-SR) and Social Phobia Inventory (SPIN) were used as the primary outcome measures.<h4>Results</h4>A significant difference with a large between-group effect size in favor of iCBT was found (Cohen's d = 1.19 for LSAS-SR and d = 1.27 for SPIN). Recovery rates show that 36.8% (n = 14) in the treatment group score below the SPIN clinical cut-off compared to only 2.6% (n = 1) in the wait-list control group. Post-intervention clinical interviews also revealed that 34.2% (n = 13) of the treatment group was completely recovered (full remission) while additionally 36.8% (n = 14) retained some social anxiety symptoms (partial remission). However, an important study limitation is that post-intervention interviewers were not blinded to the study conditions. The program also effectively reduced depression and dysfunctional thinking (between-group Cohen's d = 0.84 for depression and d = 0.63 for dysfunctional thinking). Moreover, the iCBT intervention appears to have a long-term impact for participants' functioning, as the treatment gains were maintained six months later.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Internet-delivered interventions display a high potential to quickly and widely disseminate effective evidence-based programs around the world. This study provides support for guided iCBT as a promising treatment approach in Romania.<h4>Trial registration</h4>ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01557894.
Project description:Many patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD) experience inadequate symptom relief from available treatments. Ketamine is a potent N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist with a potentially novel mechanism of action for the treatment of anxiety disorders. Therefore, we conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled crossover trial in 18 adults with DSM-5 SAD and compared the effects between intravenous ketamine (0.5?mg/kg over 40?min) and placebo (normal saline) on social phobia symptoms. Ketamine and placebo infusions were administered in a random order with a 28-day washout period between infusions. Ratings of anxiety were assessed 3-h post-infusion and followed for 14 days. We used linear mixed models to assess the impact of ketamine and placebo on anxiety symptoms. Outcomes were blinded ratings on the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS) and self-reported anxiety on a visual analog scale (VAS-Anxiety). We also used the Wilcoxon signed-rank test to compare the proportion of treatment responders. Based on prior studies, we defined response as a greater than 35% LSAS reduction and 50% VAS-Anxiety reduction. We found ketamine resulted in a significantly greater reduction in anxiety relative to placebo on the LSAS (Time × Treatment: F9,115=2.6, p=0.01) but not the VAS-Anxiety (Time × Treatment: F10,141=0.4, p=0.95). Participants were significantly more likely to exhibit a treatment response after ketamine infusion relative to placebo in the first 2 weeks following infusion measured on the LSAS (33.33% response ketamine vs 0% response placebo, Wilcoxon signed-rank test z=2.24, p=0.025) and VAS (88.89% response ketamine vs 52.94% response placebo, Wilcoxon signed-rank test z=2.12, p=0.034). In conclusion, this proof-of-concept trial provides initial evidence that ketamine may be effective in reducing anxiety.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Children with behavioral inhibition, a temperament characterized by biologically based hypervigilance to novelty and social withdrawal, are at high risk for developing anxiety. This study examined the effect of a novel attention training protocol, attention bias modification (ABM), on symptomatic, behavioral, and neural risk markers in children with behavioral inhibition. METHOD:Nine- to 12-year-old typically developing children identified as having behavioral inhibition (N = 84) were assigned to a 4-session active ABM training (n = 43) or placebo protocol (n = 41) using a double-blinded, randomized, controlled trial approach. Anxiety symptoms (Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children-Fourth Edition), attention bias (AB; measured by a dot-probe task; AB = incongruent reaction time - congruent reaction time), and AB-related neural activation (measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging activation for the incongruent > congruent contrast in the dot-probe task) were assessed before and after the training sessions. RESULTS:Results showed that active ABM (n = 40) significantly alleviated participants' symptoms of separation anxiety, but not social anxiety, compared with the placebo task (n = 40); ABM did not modify behavioral AB scores in the dot-probe task; and at the neural level, active ABM (n = 15) significantly decreased amygdala and insula activation and increased activation in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex compared with placebo (n = 19). CONCLUSION:These findings provide important evidence for ABM as a potentially effective protective tool for temperamentally at-risk children in a developmental window before the emergence of clinical disorder and open to prevention and intervention. Clinical trial registration information-Attention and Social Behavior in Children (BRAINS); http://clinicaltrials.gov/; NCT02401282.
Project description:Internet-based cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) has been shown to be a promising method to disseminate cognitive behavior therapy for social anxiety disorder (SAD). Several trials have demonstrated that Internet-based CBT can be effective for SAD in the shorter term. However, the long-term effects of Internet-based CBT for SAD are less well known.Our objective was to investigate the effect of Internet-based CBT for SAD 5 years after completed treatment.We conducted a 5-year follow-up study of 80 persons with SAD who had undergone Internet-based CBT. The assessment comprised a diagnostic interview and self-report questionnaires. The main outcome measure was the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale-Self-Report (LSAS-SR). Additional measures of social anxiety were the Social Interaction Anxiety Scale (SIAS) and the Social Phobia Scale (SPS). Attrition rates were low: 89% (71/80) of the participants completed the diagnostic interview and 80% (64/80) responded to the questionnaires.Mixed-effect models analysis showed a significant effect of time on the three social anxiety measures, LSAS-SR, SIAS, and SPS (F(3,98-102) = 16.05 - 29.20, P < .001) indicating improvement. From baseline to 5-year follow-up, participants' mean scores on the LSAS-SR were reduced from 71.3 (95% confidence interval [CI] 66.1-76.5) to 40.3 (95% CI 35.2 - 45.3). The effect sizes of the LSAS-SR were large (Cohen's d range 1.30 - 1.40, 95% CI 0.77 - 1.90). Improvements gained at the 1-year follow-up were sustained 5 years after completed treatment.Internet-based CBT for SAD is a treatment that can result in large and enduring effects.Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01145690; http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01145690 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/5ygRxDLfK).
Project description:Exposure therapy for social anxiety disorder (SAD) utilizes fear extinction, a memory process enhanced by sleep. We investigated whether naps following exposure sessions might improve symptoms and biomarkers in response to social stress in adults undergoing 5-week exposure-based group SAD therapy. Thirty-two participants aged 18-39 (18 females) with SAD were randomized. Before and after treatment, participants completed the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS) and underwent a Trier Social Stress Test with psychophysiological monitoring (mpTSST) that included skin conductance (SCL), electromyographic (EMG) and electrocardiographic recording, and an auditory startle procedure while anticipating the social stressor. At sessions 3 and 4, exposure was followed by either a 120-min polysomnographically monitored sleep opportunity (Nap, N?=?17) or wakefulness (Wake, N?=?15). Primary hypotheses about SAD symptom change (LSAS) and EMG blink-startle response failed to differ with naps, despite significant symptom improvement (LSAS) with therapy. Some secondary biomarkers, however, provided preliminary support for enhanced extinction learning with naps, with trend-level Time (pre-, post-treatment)?×?Arm interactions and significant reduction from pre- to post treatment in the Nap arm alone for mpTSST SCL and salivary cortisol rise. Because of the small sample size and limited sleep duration, additional well-powered studies with more robust sleep interventions are indicated.
Project description:Cognitive behavioral group therapy (CBGT) is an effective, well-established, but not widely available treatment for social anxiety disorder (SAD). Internet-based cognitive behavior therapy (ICBT) has the potential to increase availability and facilitate dissemination of therapeutic services for SAD. However, ICBT for SAD has not been directly compared with in-person treatments such as CBGT and few studies investigating ICBT have been conducted in clinical settings. Our aim was to investigate if ICBT is at least as effective as CBGT for SAD when treatments are delivered in a psychiatric setting.We conducted a randomized controlled non-inferiority trial with allocation to ICBT (n=64) or CBGT (n=62) with blinded assessment immediately following treatment and six months post-treatment. Participants were 126 individuals with SAD who received CBGT or ICBT for a duration of 15 weeks. The Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS) was the main outcome measure. The following non-inferiority margin was set: following treatment, the lower bound of the 95 % confidence interval (CI) of the mean difference between groups should be less than 10 LSAS-points.Both groups made large improvements. At follow-up, 41 (64%) participants in the ICBT group were classified as responders (95% CI, 52%-76%). In the CBGT group, 28 participants (45%) responded to the treatment (95% CI, 33%-58%). At post-treatment and follow-up respectively, the 95 % CI of the LSAS mean difference was 0.68-17.66 (Cohen's d between group=0.41) and -2.51-15.69 (Cohen's d between group=0.36) favoring ICBT, which was well within the non-inferiority margin. Mixed effects models analyses showed no significant interaction effect for LSAS, indicating similar improvement across treatments (F=1.58; df=2, 219; p=.21).ICBT delivered in a psychiatric setting can be as effective as CBGT in the treatment of SAD and could be used to increase availability to CBT.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00564967.