Behavioural Psychotherapy

Research Article

A Controlled Comparison of Cognitive—Behaviour Therapy, Diazepam and Placebo in the Management of Generalized Anxiety

K. G. Powera1, D. W. A. Jerroma2, R. J. Simpsona3, M. J. Mitchella4 and V. Swansona5

a1 Department of Psychology, University of Stirling

a2 Department of Clinical Psychology, Southmead General Hospital

a3 Department of Psychology, University of Stirling

a4 Astra Clinical Research Unit, Edinburgh

a5 Department of Psychology,University of Stirling


Generalized anxiety patients were randomly allocated to Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy, Diazepam or Placebo and managed in a primary care setting. Treatments were balanced for degree of psychologist/patient contact. A range of outcome measures, including patient self report, psychologist assessor and general practitioner ratings were used. Large variations within group response to treatment emerged. At the end of active treatment the superiority of Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy was suggested. Post-study psychotropic prescription and psychological treatment was assessed at a 12-month follow-up. The Cognitive-Behaviour group revealed the lowest incidence of subsequent treatment interventions.


Reprint requests to K. G. Power, Forth Valley GP Research Group; Department of Psychology, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA, Scotland.