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Treating Anxiety With & Without Medication: Research Brief
Paroxetine, Cognitive Therapy or Their Combination in the Treatment of Social Anxiety Disorder with and without Avoidant Personality Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial
Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 2016
The most common treatment for social anxiety is cognitive therapy (CT) , medication or a combination of both. However, little research has been done on what treatment method is most effective, medication, CT alone, or a combination of the two. This research study evaluates just that.
Hans M. Nordahl and colleagues found that CT is more effective for treating social anxiety compared to medication alone or in combination with CT.
While medications are helpful, the study outcome shows those who use an SSRI for social anxiety disorder are less likely to recover as compared to receiving therapy alone. The study concludes that the benefits they were looking for in combination treatment with medications were not found, and the SSRI may even impair the effectiveness of CT.
Highlights from the Study
“The controlled effect sizes (dc) at posttreatment/ 12-month follow-up were as follows: paroxetine 0.59/0.39, CT 1.96/1.20, and combination 1.09/0.60.”
“Recovery rates at 12 months were much higher in the CT group (68%) compared to 40% in the combination group, 24% in the paroxetine group, and 4% in the pill placebo group.”
At the Feeling Good Institute, we understand that different problems respond differently to different treatments. That’s why we emphasize an evidence-based approach and select treatments that are based on the latest scientific evidence.
Nordahl H, M, Vogel P, A, Morken G, Stiles T, C, Sandvik P, Wells A. (2016). Paroxetine, Cognitive Therapy or Their Combination in the Treatment of Social Anxiety Disorder with and without Avoidant Personality Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. 85:346-356. doi: 10.1159/000447013
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