Effectiveness of a school-based early intervention CBT group programme for children with anxiety aged 5-7 years

Sylvia Ruocco, Jocelynne E Gordon, Louise Anne McLean

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Early manifestations of anxiety in childhood confer significant distress
and life interference. This study reports on the first controlled trial of
the Get Lost Mr Scary programme, a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
group intervention for children with anxiety aged 5–7 years.
Participants were 134 children (65 males and 69 females) drawn
from 23 public schools located in Western Sydney, Australia. A non-randomised
control group design was used to assign schools to an
intervention group or wait-time control group. Post-intervention
results obtained from parent and teacher measures indicated that
children who received the intervention showed significant reductions
in their anxiety and behaviour symptoms compared to children in the
wait-time group who showed no significant change. After receiving
the intervention, the wait-time group showed a similar pattern of
improvement. At 12-month follow-up, the intervention gains for
anxiety were maintained. Clinical implications for the school setting
and future directions for research are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29 - 49
Number of pages21
JournalAdvances in School Mental Health Promotion
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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