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Study Identifies Three Effective Treatments for Childhood Anxiety Disorders

Posted Nov 02 2008 1:06pm

Treatment that combines a certain type of psychotherapy with an antidepressant medication is most likely to help children with anxiety disorders, but each of the treatments alone is also effective, according to a new study funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The study was published online Oct. 30, 2008, in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental disorders affecting children and adolescents. Untreated anxiety can undermine a child’s success in school, jeopardize his or her relationships with family, and inhibit social functioning,” said NIMH Director Thomas R. Insel, M.D. “This study provides strong evidence and reassurance to parents that a well-designed, two-pronged treatment approach is the gold standard, while a single line of treatment is still effective.”

The Child/Adolescent Anxiety Multimodal Study (CAMS) randomly assigned 488 children ages 7 years to 17 years to one of four treatment options for a 12-week period:

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