Group cognitive behavior therapy for Japanese patients with social anxiety disorder: Preliminary outcomes and their predictors
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Background A number of studies have provided strong evidence for the use of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) in the treatment of social anxiety disorder (SAD). However, all of the previous reports were from Europe and North America and it is unknown whether Western psychological therapies are effective for SAD in non-Western cultures. The present pilot study aimed to evaluate CBT program for SAD which was originally developed for Western patients, among Japanese patients. Methods Fifty-seven outpatients who participated in group CBT for SAD were evaluated using eight self-reported and one clinician-administered questionnaires to measure various aspects of SAD symptomatology at the beginning and at the end of the program. Pre- and post-treatment scores were compared and the magnitude of treatment effect was quantified as well based once on the intention-to-treat (ITT) and once among the completers only. We also examined baseline predictors of the CBT outcomes. Results Seven patients (12%) did not complete the program. For the ITT sample, the percentage of reduction was 20% to 30% and the pre to post treatment effect sizes ranged from 0.37 to 1.01. Among the completers, the respective figures were 20% to 33% and 0.41 to 1.19. We found no significant pretreatment predictor of the outcomes. Conclusion Group CBT for SAD is acceptable and can bring about a similar degree of symptom reduction among Japanese patients with SAD as among Western patients.