Category: Treatment - ACT

Symposium

Randomized Controlled Trial of ACT Versus Traditional CBT for SAD: Symptomatic and Behavioral Outcomes

Friday, November 17
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Sapphire Ballroom A, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy) | Social Anxiety | Exposure
Presentation Type: Symposium

Although existing comparative trials have found that acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and traditional cognitive behavior therapy (tCBT) yield no significant differences in the treatment of social anxiety disorder (SAD), previous trials have not examined treatment effects on observer-rated behavioral outcomes and have not explicitly quantified the dose (i.e., number of minutes per session) of exposure therapy embedded within each treatment. Eighty-eight individuals who met DSM-IV criteria for SAD were randomized to receive 12 sessions of ACT (n = 48) or tCBT (n = 40). Assessments were completed at pre- and post-treatment using clinician-rated severity measures of social anxiety and self-report measures of social anxiety symptoms, quality of life, and overall functioning. Observer-rated behavioral measures of social performance via a standardized behavioral assessment were completed for a subsample of participants. Results indicated that participants across conditions received equivalent doses of exposure. Those who received tCBT evidenced greater improvements in clinician-rated symptom severity, self-reported social anxiety symptoms, and self-reported overall functioning. In contrast, a statistical trend with medium-to-large effect sizes indicated that those who received ACT demonstrated greater improvements in observer-rated social skills. The discrepancy between these symptom and behavioral outcomes contributes to a growing literature suggesting that ACT treatments tend to demonstrate greater improvements in behavioral domains despite comparable, or even lower, levels of improvement on symptom measures.

James Herbert

Drexel University

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Randomized Controlled Trial of ACT Versus Traditional CBT for SAD: Symptomatic and Behavioral Outcomes



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