This study examined the effects of a family-based intervention Coping and Promoting Strength (CAPS) relative to a control condition, information-monitoring (IM), to prevent the onset of anxiety disorders in offspring of anxious parents six years after their initial assessment. One hundred thirty six families participated in the original randomized trial; 113 (83%) completed the one time follow-up assessment. Presence of anxiety disorders and severity of symptoms in offspring were assessed by masked evaluators using the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule; parents and offspring also completed questionnaires assessing offspring anxiety. Using the intention to treat sample from the original trial, Cox regression models showed significant intervention main effects in the rate of onset of anxiety disorders from baseline to follow-up (anxiety disorder: hazard ratio (HR) = 2.55, 95% CI: 1.54, 4.21) but growth curves suggest effects occurred within the first year after program completion. No group differences were found in the cumulative incidence of anxiety disorders at the six-year follow-up. Additional intervention appears needed to maintain the initial positive effects long-term to reduce the risk for downstream disability.
Clinical Trials Registration: NCT00847561