Assessing the efficacy of imagery-enhanced cognitive behavioral group therapy for social anxiety disorder: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Peter M McEvoy, Michelle L Moulds, Jessica R Grisham, Emily A Holmes, David A Moscovitch, Delia Hendrie, Lisa M Saulsman, Ottmar V Lipp, Robert T Kane, Ronald M Rapee, Matthew P Hyett, David M Erceg-Hurn
Contemporary Clinical Trials 2017, 60: 34-41
Cognitive behavior group therapy (CBGT) is effective for social anxiety disorder (SAD), but a substantial proportion of patients do not typically achieve normative functioning. Cognitive behavioral models of SAD emphasize negative self-imagery as an important maintaining factor, and evidence suggests that imagery is a powerful cognitive mode for facilitating affective change. This study will compare two group CBGT interventions, one that predominantly uses verbally-based strategies (VB-CBGT) and another that predominantly uses imagery-enhanced strategies (IE-CBGT), in terms of (a) efficacy, (b) mechanisms of change, and (c) cost-effectiveness. This study is a parallel groups (two-arm) single-blind randomized controlled trial. A minimum of 96 patients with SAD will be recruited within a public outpatient community mental health clinic in Perth, Australia. The primary outcomes will be self-reported symptom severity, caseness (SAD present: yes/no) based on a structured diagnostic interview, and clinician-rated severity and life impact. Secondary outcomes and mechanism measures include blind observer-rated use of safety behaviors, physiological activity (heart rate variability and skin conductance level) during a standardized speech task, negative self-beliefs, imagery suppression, fear of negative and positive evaluation, repetitive negative thinking, anxiety, depression, self-consciousness, use of safety behaviors, and the EQ-5D-5L and TiC-P for the health economic analysis. Homework completion, group cohesion, and working alliance will also be monitored. The outcomes of this trial will inform clinicians as to whether integrating imagery-based strategies in cognitive behavior therapy for SAD is likely to improve outcomes. Common and distinct mechanisms of change might be identified, along with relative cost-effectiveness of each intervention.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"