Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

The clinical effectiveness of CBT-based guided self-help interventions for anxiety and depressive disorders: a systematic review

  • G. Coull (a1) and P. G. Morris (a1)
Abstract
Background

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT)-based guided self-help (GSH) has been suggested to be an effective intervention for mild to moderate anxiety and depression, yet the evidence seems inconclusive, with some studies reporting that GSH is effective and others finding that GSH is ineffective. GSH differs in important respects from other levels of self-help, yet the literature regarding exclusively guided self-help interventions for anxiety and depression has not been reviewed systematically.

Method

A literature search for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) examining CBT-based GSH interventions for anxiety and depressive disorders was conducted. Multiple electronic databases were searched; several journals spanning key disciplines were hand-searched; reference lists of included review articles were scanned and relevant first authors were contacted.

Results

Thirteen studies met the inclusion criteria. Meta-analysis indicated the effectiveness of GSH at post-treatment, although GSH was found to have limited effectiveness at follow-up or among more clinically representative samples. Studies that reported greater effectiveness of GSH tended to be of lower methodological quality and generally involved participants who were self-selected rather than recruited through clinical referrals.

Conclusions

Although there is support for the effectiveness of CBT-based GSH among media-recruited individuals, the finding that the reviewed RCTs had limited effectiveness within routine clinical practice demonstrates that the evidence is not conclusive. Further rigorous evidence based on clinical populations that examines longer-term outcomes is required before CBT-based GSH interventions can be deemed effective for adults accessing primary care services for treatment of anxiety and depression.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Address for correspondence: Dr G. Coull, Clinical and Health Psychology, School of Health in Social Science, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9AG, UK. (Email: g.j.coull@sms.ed.ac.uk)
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

PCAM Boer , D Wiersma , S Russo , RJ Bosch (2005). Paraprofessionals for anxiety and depressive disorders. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Issue 2, Art. No. CD004688.

E Mayo-Wilson , P Montgomery (2007). Media-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy and behavioural therapy (self-help) for anxiety disorders in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Issue 1, Art. No. CD005330.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 56
Total number of PDF views: 411 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 1431 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 26th June 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.