Pilot of a randomised controlled trial of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor sertraline versus cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety symptoms in people with generalised anxiety disorder who have failed to respond to low-intensity psycholo
Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is common, causing unpleasant symptoms and impaired functioning. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines have established good evidence for low-intensity psychological interventions, but a significant number of patients will not respond and require more intensive step 3 interventions, recommended as either high-intensity cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or a pharmacological treatment such as sertraline. However, there are no head-to-head comparisons evaluating which is more clinically effective and cost-effective, and current guidelines suggest that treatment choice at step 3 is based mainly on patient preference. To assess clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness at 12 months of treatment with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) sertraline compared with CBT for patients with persistent GAD not improved with NICE-defined low-intensity psychological interventions.