CBT vs. interpersonal psychotherapy for social anxiety disorder

In this study, just published in Journal of Anxiety Disorders, a previously evaluated guided Internet-based cognitive behavior therapy for social anxiety disorder was adapted for mobile phone administration. The treatment was compared with a guided self-help treatment based on interpersonal psychotherapy. The treatment platform could be accessed through smartphones, tablet computers, and standard computers. A total of 52 participants were diagnosed with social anxiety disorder and randomized to either cognitive behavior therapy (n = 27) or interpersonal psychotherapy (n = 25). Measures were collected at pre-treatment, during the treatment, post-treatment and 3 month follow-up. On the primary outcome measure, the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale–self rated, both groups showed statistically significant improvements. However, cognitive behavior therapy performed significantly better than interpersonal psychotherapy (between group Cohen’s d =0.64 in favor of cognitive behavior therapy). A larger proportion of the cognitive behavior therapy group was classified as responders at post-treatment (55.6% versus 8.0% in the interpersonal psychotherapy group). We conclude that cognitive behavior therapy for social anxiety disorder can be delivered using modern information technology. Interpersonal psychotherapy delivered as a guided self-help treatment may be less effective in this format.

Dagöö, J., Persson Asplund, R., Andersson Bsenko, H., Hjerling, S., Holmberg, A., Westh, S., Öberg, L., Ljótsson, B., Carlbring, P., Furmark, T., & Andersson, G. (2014). Cognitive behavior therapy versus interpersonal psychotherapy for social anxiety disorder delivered via smartphone and computer: a randomized controlled trialJournal of Anxiety Disorders, 28, 410-417.