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26-07-2018 | Original Article | Uitgave 2/2019

Child Psychiatry & Human Development 2/2019

Efficacy of Attention Bias Training for Child Anxiety Disorders: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Child Psychiatry & Human Development > Uitgave 2/2019
Susanna W. Chang, Jennie M. Kuckertz, Deepika Bose, Arturo R. Carmona, John Piacentini, Nader Amir


A growing evidence base supports attention bias modification (ABM) as a novel intervention for anxiety. However, research has been largely conducted with adults and analogue samples, leaving the impact of ABM for child anxiety be fully elucidated. Thus, we conducted a double-blind, randomized controlled trial testing ABM efficacy versus an attention control condition (CC) in 31 children diagnosed with anxiety disorder. Youth were assigned to 4 weeks of ABM where attention was trained away from threat, or a sham CC in which no bias training occurred. Findings indicate that significantly more youth in the ABM versus CC group were considered treatment responders post training. The ABM versus CC group also demonstrated a greater decrease in anxiety severity, with this difference being marginally significant. Findings lend support for the potential of ABM in reducing youth anxiety. Further work regarding mechanisms of action is warranted to advance ABM research.

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