Behavioural Psychotherapy

Research Article

Stress Control: A Controlled Comparative Investigation of Large Group Therapy for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Jim Whitea1, Mary Keenana1 and Neil Brooksa2

a1 Hairmyres Hospital, East Kilbride

a2 University of Glasgow

One hundred and nine patients with a primary diagnosis of GAD were allocated to either cognitive, behavioural, cognitive-behavioural or placebo versions of “Stress Control” large group didactic therapy or to a waiting list condition. Each group was run by two therapists and, with the exception of the placebo, contained between 20 and 24 patients. A wide range of measures were administered at pre-, mid- and post-therapy and at six month follow-up. At post-therapy, all therapy conditions showed highly significant change on almost all measures, with the active therapies, and to a slightly lesser degree, the placebo, being significantly different to the waiting list on most measures. At follow-up, the active treatment conditions enhanced post-therapy improvements, while the placebo condition maintained progress. No significant differences existed between the four treatment conditions at post-therapy and, with the exception of one measure, at follow-up. However, a trend at both points favours the cognitive and behavioural conditions.


Reprint requests to Dr Jim White, Sub-department of Clinical Psychology, Lanarkshire Health Board, Hairmyres Hospital, East Kilbride, G75 8RG, Scotland.