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Thesis

An investigation of the relationship between stage of change and outcome in the treatment of anxiety disorders

24 July 2000

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between pre-treatment stage of change and the outcome of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for participants with anxiety disorders. The participants included 53 individuals diagnosed with various anxiety disorders being seen at a private practice anxiety disorders clinic. Participants completed an 18-itemversion of the stage of change questionnaire (URICA) (McConnaughy et aI., 1983, 1989). Each participant's stage of change and readiness to change index was calculated. Participants were treated with a manualized cognitive-behavioral therapy, with the exception of the participants diagnosed with anxiety disorder NOS. Along with nwnerous anxiety specific outcome measures, therapists completed the Clinical Global Impression of Severity (CGI-S) and the Clinical Global Impression of Improvement (CGI-I) scales as outcome measures. Partial correlations between stage of change and readiness to change and the outcome measures were calculated. Readiness to change was significantly correlated with post-treatment CGI-S, controlling for pretreatment CGI-S. Additionally, stage of change was significantly correlated with outcome on the Anxiety Sensitivity Index (ASI) in a subpopulation of 10 participants with panic disorder. This study shows pre-treatment readiness to change to be a predictor of outcome in psychotherapy for anxiety disordered clients. Within the context of methodological limitations, this study is generally supportive of the association of stage of change and outcome of CBT with anxiety disorders.


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