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Treating Anxiety Disorders with Partner Involvement: A Meta-Analytic Review

24 July 2006


The impact of anxiety disorders on romantic relationships can be devastating, and research has suggested that including significant others in psychological treatment can be effective in the treatment of the disorder as well as in the improvement of the relationship. This meta-analysis was conducted to determine whether the inclusion of a spouse or partner in the treatment of an anxiety disorder is more effective than treatment of the individual alone. Fourteen studies were obtained that incorporated the involvement of the spouse or partner into the treatment of an anxiety disorder. Studies were obtained from a psychological database that described the use of spouse, marital, or couples in treatment of one member's anxiety disorder. The results suggest a large effect size for improvement in the partner relationship (d = 0.93) as well as a reduction in disorderspecific symptoms (d = -0.78), and general anxiety (d = -1.19).


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