Category: Cultural Diversity / Vulnerable Populations

PS8- #C84 - Treatment Response and Completion in Whites and People of Color in Cognitive Behavioral Group Therapy for SAD

Saturday, Nov 18
8:30 AM – 9:30 AM
Location: Indigo Ballroom CDGH, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Cultural Diversity/ Vulnerable Populations | Treatment-CBT | Social Anxiety

Racial disparities in treatment response and completion rates require further investigation in efficacy research. Typically, treatment response has been studied in predominantly, White populations (Miranda et al. 2005; U.S. DHHS, 2001). Previous RCTs indicate that cognitive behavioral therapy leads to a significant reduction of anxiety symptoms for White clients with anxiety disorders (Chambless et al., 1988). Nevertheless, well-controlled studies examining outcomes for People of Color are severely lacking (Sue, 1998). In fact, there is no evidence that indicates the validity of empirically supported treatments for People of Color (Hall, 2001; Matt & Navarro, 1997; Miranda, 1996; Sue, 1999). Thus, it is important to examine treatment response and completion based on specific racial categories in the context of an efficacy trial. In the current study, we examined results based on race of clients to determine who responded and completed treatment across Cognitive Behavioral Group Therapy (CBGT) for Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) (CBGT: Heimberg & Becker, 2002). The current study consisted of an intent to treat sample of 81 participants diagnosed with SAD (mean age= 27.0) who began treatment. Of the 81, 42.40% self-identified as cis-gender males, while 57.60% as cis-gender females. Racially, 50.80% self-identified as White, 13.60% as Black, 23.70% as Asian, 1.70% as Pacific Islander, 1.70% as Alaskan Native, 10.17% as Latinx, and 11.86% as Other Mixed. Treatment completion was established if participants completed a minimum of 9 out of 12 sessions of CBGT. We defined treatment response as the absence of a principal diagnosis of SAD (CSR≤4) on the semi-structured diagnostic interview at post treatment. Descriptive analyses of treatment completion revealed that 70.59% of clients who self-identified as White were treatment completers, whereas only 33.33% who self-identified as Black, 61.54% as Asian, 45.45% as Latinx, and 36.36% as Other Mixed completed treatment. Thus, the majority of Black participants dropped out of therapy. Furthermore, 64.71% of clients who self-identified as White were treatment responders, 66.67% as Black, 46.15% as Asian, 72.73% as Latinx, and 61.73% as Other Mixed. With the exception of Asians, all groups who had similar rates of treatment response when looking at those who completed treatment. Together, this indicates that those who identify as Asian complete treatment, but do not fare as well as Whites; whereas Blacks are less likely to complete treatment, but those that do, are more likely to be treatment responders. Given these findings, it is possible that racial and cultural differences in Whites and People of Color may impact treatment response and completion, highlighting race as a potentially important moderator.   

Lorraine Alire

Clinical Psychology Graduate Student
University of Massachusetts, Boston
Dorchester Center, Massachusetts

Amber Calloway

Clinical Psychology Doctoral Candidate
University of Massachusetts, Boston

Sarah Hayes-Skelton

University of Massachusetts Boston
Boston, Massachusetts