DEFICITS in DISENGAGING ATTENTION from THREAT PREDICT IMPROVED RESPONSE to COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY for ANXIETY

Tom J. Barry, Amy R. Sewart, Joanna J. Arch, Michelle G. Craske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Background Pretreatment biases in attending toward threat have been shown to predict greater symptom reduction following cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety. Findings to date do not extend to clinical severity of diagnoses and they assess treatment response immediately posttreatment and not at follow-up. Research in this area has also not examined components of vigilance (e.g., engagement, disengagement) or whether these effects are confined to external attention and not attention to internal symptoms of anxiety. Methods In the present investigation, 96 adults with a range of anxiety disorders completed a dot probe task to assess threat-related attention biases before and after 12 sessions of CBT. Results Pretreatment deficits in disengaging attention from external and internal threats, and not the speed of engagement with threat, predicted reductions in clinical severity of diagnoses that were maintained 2 years later. The presence of posttreatment attention biases was not associated with increased clinical severity after treatment. Conclusions Pretreatment deficits in disengaging attention from threat may promote better and more durable response to CBT for a range anxiety disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)892-899
Number of pages8
JournalDepression and Anxiety
Volume32
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015

Keywords

  • anxiety
  • attention
  • behavior therapy
  • cognitive behavioral therapy
  • phobias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'DEFICITS in DISENGAGING ATTENTION from THREAT PREDICT IMPROVED RESPONSE to COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY for ANXIETY'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this