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01-09-2016 | Uitgave 4/2016

Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review 4/2016

Improving Treatment Response for Paediatric Anxiety Disorders: An Information-Processing Perspective

Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review > Uitgave 4/2016
Sarah Ege, Marie Louise Reinholdt-Dunne
Belangrijke opmerkingen
The original version of this article was revised: The order of author was incorrect and the first author affiliation was missing. This has been corrected in this version.
An erratum to this article can be found at http://​dx.​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10567-016-0215-0.


Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is considered the treatment of choice for paediatric anxiety disorders, yet there remains substantial room for improvement in treatment outcomes. This paper examines whether theory and research into the role of information-processing in the underlying psychopathology of paediatric anxiety disorders indicate possibilities for improving treatment response. Using a critical review of recent theoretical, empirical and academic literature, the paper examines the role of information-processing biases in paediatric anxiety disorders, the extent to which CBT targets information-processing biases, and possibilities for improving treatment response. The literature reviewed indicates a role for attentional and interpretational biases in anxious psychopathology. While there is theoretical grounding and limited empirical evidence to indicate that CBT ameliorates interpretational biases, evidence regarding the effects of CBT on attentional biases is mixed. Novel treatment methods including attention bias modification training, attention feedback awareness and control training, and mindfulness-based therapy may hold potential in targeting attentional biases, and thereby in improving treatment response. The integration of novel interventions into an existing evidence-based protocol is a complex issue and faces important challenges with regard to determining the optimal treatment package. Novel interventions targeting information-processing biases may hold potential in improving response to CBT for paediatric anxiety disorders. Many important questions remain to be answered.

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