Date of this Version
Cognitive Therapy and Research 14:1 (February 1990), pp. 1–23.
Forty-nine patients participated in a study comparing cognitive-behavioral group treatment (CBGT) for social phobia with a credible placebo control. CBGT consisted of exposure to simulated phobic events, cognitive restructuring of maladaptive thoughts, and homework for self-directed exposure and cognitive restructuring between sessions. Control patients received a treatment package consisting of lecture-discussion and group support that was comparable to CBGT on measures of treatment credibility and outcome expectations. At pretest, posttest, and 3- and 6-month follow-ups, patients completed assessments that included clinician ratings, self-report measures, and behavioral physiological and cognitive-subjective measures derived from a behavioral simulation of a personally relevant phobic event. Both groups improved on most measures, but, at both posttest and follow-up, CBGT patients were rated as more improved than controls and reported less anxiety before and during the behavioral test. At follow-up, CBGT patients also reported significantly fewer negative and more positive self-statements than controls on a thought-listing task following the behavioral test. Regardless of treatment condition, follow-up changes in clinician-rated phobic severity were significantly related to changes on the thought-listing measure.