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01-10-2012 | Original Article | Uitgave 5/2012

Cognitive Therapy and Research 5/2012

Internet-Based Attention Training for Social Anxiety: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 5/2012
Johanna Boettcher, Thomas Berger, Babette Renneberg


Several studies suggest that computer-based attention modification programmes can be a promising new approach for the treatment of various anxiety disorders, including social anxiety disorder (SAD). The current study investigates the efficacy of a four-week Internet-delivered version of an attentional training for SAD in a randomized controlled double-blind study. Sixty-eight individuals seeking treatment for SAD were randomly assigned to either an attention training group (ATG, N = 33) or a control group (CG, N = 35). Participants of the ATG completed modified dot-probe tasks designed to facilitate attentional disengagement from threat. Participants in the CG completed control dot-probe tasks. At post-assessment, participants in both groups showed significant symptom reductions with medium to large within-group effect sizes on social anxiety measures (ATG: Cohen’s d = .47–.80; CG: d = .56–.63). However, no significant differences between groups were found at post-treatment for any outcome measure. These findings will be discussed along with the results of a 4-months follow-up assessment.

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