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Protocol for a randomised controlled feasibility study examining the efficacy of brief cognitive therapy for the treatment of panic disorder in adolescents (PANDA)

Waite, P. ORCID: (2022) Protocol for a randomised controlled feasibility study examining the efficacy of brief cognitive therapy for the treatment of panic disorder in adolescents (PANDA). Pilot and feasibility studies, 8. 49. ISSN 2055-5784

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1186/s40814-022-01009-z


Background: Panic disorder occurs in between 1-3% of adolescents, is associated with high levels of co-morbidity, and without treatment, appears to have a chronic course. To improve access to effective psychological interventions, briefer versions of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) have been developed and evaluated for pre-adolescent children with anxiety disorders. However, there are currently no brief evidence-based CBT interventions for adolescents with anxiety disorders that can be delivered in less than eight sessions. Given that a brief version of cognitive therapy has been shown to be effective in adults with panic disorder, it is possible that an adapted version could be effective for adolescents with panic disorder. Methods: The study will examine whether a definitive trial can be conducted, based on a single centre feasibility randomised controlled trial using several well-defined criteria. Between 30-48 young people (age 11-18 years) who meet diagnostic criteria for panic disorder, attending a routine clinical service, will be randomly allocated to receive either (i) brief cognitive therapy, or (ii) a general form of CBT treatment that is more commonly used for adolescents with anxiety disorders. Both will be delivered 1:1 by a therapist and involve five treatment sessions and two booster sessions. Young people’s outcomes will be assessed at the end of treatment and at 3 month follow up, and qualitative interviews will be conducted to examine acceptability. We will also explore outcomes 1-year after the completion of treatment. Discussion: This study will test the feasibility of a randomised controlled trial to compare brief cognitive therapy to a general form of CBT for adolescents with panic disorder in the UK. The outputs from the study will provide a clear indication of the feasibility of a future definitive trial and, if indicated, the critical resources that will be required and key information to inform the design and maximise the successful completion of the trial. This has the potential to bring direct benefits to young people and their families, as well as services and society more broadly.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Anxiety and Depression in Young People (AnDY)
ID Code:103894
Publisher:BioMed Central


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