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Cultural modifications of cognitive behavioural treatment of social anxiety among culturally diverse clients: a systematic literature review

  • Maja Jankowska (a1)

Abstract

The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic literature review to ascertain whether cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for social anxiety disorder (SAD) can be successfully used in non-Western contexts and demonstrate sufficient effectiveness. This area is largely under-researched with conflicting evidence presented in quantitative studies, with virtually no qualitative studies published. This review utilized realist review methodology and focused on qualitative case studies presented by clinicians. A systematic search of EBSCO HOST, The Cochrane Library Database, Google, Google Scholar and reference mining, using various combinations of terms relating to: (1) CBT, (2) social anxiety and (3) cultural diversity were employed. Seven case studies of cultural adaptations of CBT treatment for culturally diverse SAD sufferers were included. The treatment outcomes were generally promising in all cases (reporting significant decrease of SAD symptoms, maintained over time) and the success of therapy was often attributed to culturally specific modifications introduced. CBT can be an acceptable and effective treatment for culturally diverse SAD sufferers with ‘modest’ modifications, without major diversions from the original CBT models and protocols, but this finding must be treated with caution and more methodologically rigorous research (qualitative and quantitative) is needed to more fully understand what works, for whom and in what circumstances.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Correspondence to Dr Maja Jankowska, School of Psychology, University of Bedfordshire, University Square, Luton LU1 3JU, UK (email: maja.jankowska@beds.ac.uk)

References

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Cultural modifications of cognitive behavioural treatment of social anxiety among culturally diverse clients: a systematic literature review

  • Maja Jankowska (a1)
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