Most individuals with social anxiety disorder (SAD) do not receive any type of treatment. Reasons include logistical barriers (e.g., geographic location, travel time), fear of stigmatization, and fear of the social interactions associated with seeking treatment. Videoconferencing technology holds great promise in the widespread delivery of evidence-based treatments to those who would otherwise not receive treatment. This pilot study assessed the feasibility, acceptability, and initial efficacy of an acceptance-based behavioral intervention using Skype videoconferencing to treat adults with generalized SAD. Twenty-four participants received 12 sessions of weekly therapy and were assessed at pre-treatment, mid-treatment, post-treatment, and 3-month follow-up. Participants and therapists rated the intervention as acceptable and feasible. Analyses revealed significant pre-treatment to follow-up improvements in social anxiety, depression, disability, quality of life, and experiential avoidance, with effect sizes comparable to or larger than previously published results of studies delivering in-person CBT for SAD. Implications and future directions are discussed.
J Anxiety Disord (Journal of anxiety disorders)
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