A standalone Internet cognitive behavior therapy treatment for social anxiety in adults who stutter: CBTpsych.
Helgadóttir FD., Menzies RG., Onslow M., Packman A., O'Brian S.
PURPOSE: Social anxiety is common for those who stutter and efficacious cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for them appears viable. However, there are difficulties with provision of CBT services for anxiety among those who stutter. Standalone Internet CBT treatment is a potential solution to those problems. CBTpsych is a fully automated, online social anxiety intervention for those who stutter. This report is a Phase I trial of CBTpsych. METHOD: Fourteen participants were allowed 5 months to complete seven sections of CBTpsych. Pre-treatment and post-treatment assessments tested for social anxiety, common unhelpful thoughts related to stuttering, quality of life and stuttering frequency. RESULTS: Significant post-treatment improvements in social anxiety, unhelpful thoughts, and quality of life were reported. Five of seven participants diagnosed with social anxiety lost those diagnoses at post-treatment. The two participants who did not lose social anxiety diagnoses did not complete all the CBTpsych modules. CBTpsych did not improve stuttering frequency. Eleven of the fourteen participants who began treatment completed Section 4 or more of the CBTpsych intervention. CONCLUSIONS: CBTpsych provides a potential means to provide CBT treatment for social anxiety associated with stuttering, to any client without cost, regardless of location. Further clinical trials are warranted. EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES: At the end of this activity the reader will be able to: (a) describe that social anxiety is common in those who stutter; (b) discuss the origin of social anxiety and the associated link with bullying; (c) summarize the problems in provision of effective evidence based cognitive behavior therapy for adults who stutter; (d) describe a scalable computerized treatment designed to tackle the service provision gap; (e) describe the unhelpful thoughts associated with stuttering that this fully automated computer program was able to tackle; (f) list the positive outcomes for individuals who stuttered that participated in this trial such as the reduction of social anxiety symptoms and improvement in the quality of life for individuals who stuttered and participated in this trial.