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Review: cognitive behavioural therapy is more effective than control and similarly effective to pharmacotherapy for generalised anxiety disorder

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Q Does cognitive behavioural therapy work as effectively as pharmacotherapy for people with generalised anxiety disorder?


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Systematic review with meta-analysis.

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MEDLINE and PsychINFO (search date May 2002) plus hand searches of reference lists and scientific meeting abstracts. Unpublished reports were identified using the Internet and by contacting pharmaceutical companies and individual investigators.

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Eligible studies were controlled trials of cognitive behavioural therapy and/or pharmacotherapy for people with generalised anxiety disorder. Exclusions: not published in English or German; case studies; pharmacotherapy for <14 days; studies using CBT techniques as a control; or insufficient information to calculate effect size and other statistical data. Data were extracted on anxiety, depression, quality of life, and …

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  • For correspondence: Kristin Mitte, Department of Psychology, University of Jena, Humboldtstr 11, 07743, Jena, Germany; mail{at}

  • Source of funding: State of Thuringia, Germany.

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