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CBT, medication and the combination are effective for childhood anxiety
  1. Lynn M Hana,
  2. Elizabeth McIngvale,
  3. Michelle Davis,
  4. Eric A Storch
  1. Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA
  1. Correspondence to Professor Eric A Storch, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA; eric.storch{at}

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Commentary on: Wang Z, Whiteside SPH, Sim L, et al. Comparative Effectiveness and Safety of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Pharmacotherapy for Childhood Anxiety Disorders. A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Pediatrics. 2017;171:1049–56.

What is already known on this topic?

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders among children1 and adolescents,2 characterised by excessive and persistent fear and anxiety that is difficult to control and negatively impacts daily life.3 Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are often recommended as first-line interventions in reducing anxiety symptoms and improving function,4 however, comparative effectiveness has not been determined.

Methods of the study

The present study5 conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis on effectiveness and safety of CBT, pharmacotherapy, and the combination for childhood anxiety disorders. Studies were included if (1) They treated children or adolescents between the ages of 3 years and 18 years with one or more diagnosed anxiety disorder (excluding trials solely treating PTSD or OCD). (2) They received CBT or any medication …

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