Talking therapy given by parents shows promise for childhood anxiety disorders
Brief guided cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) delivered by parents was as good as a commonly used treatment, delivered by a therapist, in improving anxiety levels in children. Anxiety continued to improve after the end of treatment and by six months about 70% had recovered. The brief CBT was potentially the more cost-effective option. This NIHR-funded trial compared recovery from a range of common anxiety disorders in children aged five to 12 following these brief psychological treatments. CBT was delivered by parents instructed and supported in its use by a mental health worker. It was compared with a treatment commonly used in the NHS, a solution-focused brief therapy delivered directly by a trained therapist. Brief interventions such as these have the potential to improve outcomes at a reasonable cost for children with this common debilitating condition.