Helping childhood with anxiety

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Faculty/Staff
Final version published as: 

Schwartz, C., Waddell, C., Barican, J., Andres, C., Yung, D., & Gray-Grant, D. (2016). Helping children with anxiety. Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly, 10(3), 1–16. Vancouver, BC: Children’s Health Policy Centre, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University.

https://childhealthpolicy.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/RQ-10-16-Summer-CCT.pdf

Date created: 
2016
Abstract: 

Background: Approximately 3% of children meet diagnostic criteria for an anxiety disorder. There are effective interventions to help these young people.

Methods: We used systematic review methods to identify randomized control trials (RCTs) evaluating interventions for children and youth with anxiety disorders. Applying our inclusion criteria to the 95 studies identified from our searches, we accepted nine RCTs.

Results: Our review found a strong body of evidence indicating that Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is effective in treating childhood anxiety disorders. We identified eight CBT programs that reduced child anxiety diagnosis or disorder severity including: Cool Kids, Coping Cat, Friends, One-Session Treatment, Parent Education Program, Skills for Academic and Social Success, Strongest Families and Timid to Tiger.  We also found two medications – venlafaxine and sertraline – that reduced diagnosis; both, however, produced significant side effects.

Conclusions: CBT should be the first choice for treating childhood anxiety. CBT has proven evidence of success in treating all types of anxiety disorders among children as young as three. Medications should only be considered when children have not benefitted from CBT. When medications are used, they require ongoing monitoring.

Language: 
English
Rights: 
You are free to copy, distribute and transmit this work under the following conditions: You must give attribution to the work (but not in any way that suggests that the author endorses you or your use of the work); You may not use this work for commercial purposes; You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work. Any further uses require the permission of the rights holder (or author if no rights holder is listed). These rights are based on the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License.
Statistics: