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McEvoy P.M.,Center for Clinical Interventions | McEvoy P.M.,University of Western Australia | Grove R.,National Drug and Alcohol Research Center | Slade T.,Center for Clinical Interventions
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry | Year: 2011

Objective: The aims of this study were to report 12-month and lifetime prevalence for anxiety disorders in the Australian general population, identify sociodemographic and clinical correlates of anxiety disorders, and report the rates of comorbidity among anxiety, affective, and substance use disorders across the lifespan. Method: The 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing was a nationally representative, face-to-face household survey of 8841 (60% response rate) community residents aged between 16 and 85 years. Diagnoses for anxiety, affective and substance use disorders were made according to the DSM-IV using the World Mental Health Survey Initiative version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Results: 12-month and lifetime prevalence of anxiety disorders were 11.8% and 20.0%, respectively. Anxiety disorders had a similar median age of onset (19 years) compared to substance use disorders (20 years), but earlier than affective disorders (34 years). Social phobia was the earliest onset anxiety disorder (median 13 years), with generalized anxiety disorder the latest (median 33 years). Significant correlates of the presence of anxiety disorders included being female, single, not in the labour force, in the middle age groups, not having post-graduate qualifications, having a comorbid physical condition, and having a family history of mental disorders. Being in the oldest age ranges and being born in another non-English speaking country were associated with lower odds of having an anxiety disorder. Body mass index was not associated with the presence of an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders were highly comorbid, particularly with major depression, dysthymia, and alcohol dependence. Comorbidity with substance use disorders reduced with age. Comorbidity with affective disorders was high across the lifespan. Conclusions: Anxiety disorders are common, can have an early onset, and are highly comorbid. Prevention, early detection, and treatment of anxiety disorders should be a priority. © 2011 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.


Andrews G.,University of New South Wales | Cuijpers P.,VU University Amsterdam | Craske M.G.,University of California at Los Angeles | McEvoy P.,Center for Clinical Interventions | Titov N.,University of New South Wales
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

Background: Depression and anxiety disorders are common and treatable with cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), but access to this therapy is limited. Objective: Review evidence that computerized CBT for the anxiety and depressive disorders is acceptable to patients and effective in the short and longer term. Method: Systematic reviews and data bases were searched for randomized controlled trials of computerized cognitive behavior therapy versus a treatment or control condition in people who met diagnostic criteria for major depression, panic disorder, social phobia or generalized anxiety disorder. Number randomized, superiority of treatment versus control (Hedges g) on primary outcome measure, risk of bias, length of follow up, patient adherence and satisfaction were extracted. Principal Findings: 22 studies of comparisons with a control group were identified. The mean effect size superiority was 0.88 (NNT 2.13), and the benefit was evident across all four disorders. Improvement from computerized CBT was maintained for a median of 26 weeks follow-up. Acceptability, as indicated by adherence and satisfaction, was good. Research probity was good and bias risk low. Effect sizes were non-significantly higher in comparisons with waitlist than with active treatment control conditions. Five studies comparing computerized CBT with traditional face-to-face CBT were identified, and both modes of treatment appeared equally beneficial. Conclusions: Computerized CBT for anxiety and depressive disorders, especially via the internet, has the capacity to provide effective acceptable and practical health care for those who might otherwise remain untreated. © 2010 Andrews et al.


Watson H.J.,Center for Clinical Interventions | Watson H.J.,Princess Margaret Hospital for Children | Watson H.J.,University of Western Australia | Bulik C.M.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Psychological Medicine | Year: 2013

Background Anorexia nervosa is a potentially deadly psychiatric illness that develops predominantly in females around puberty but is increasingly being recognized as also affecting boys and men and women across the lifespan. The aim of this environmental scan is to provide an overview of best practices in anorexia nervosa treatment across the age spectrum. Method A triangulation approach was used. First, a detailed review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) for anorexia nervosa published between 1980 and 2011 was conducted; second, clinical practice guidelines were consulted and reviewed; third, information about RCTs currently underway was sourced. This approach facilitated a comprehensive overview, which addressed the extant evidence base, recent advances in evidence and improvements in treatment, and future directions. Results The evidence base for the treatment of anorexia nervosa is advancing, albeit unevenly. Evidence points to the benefit of family-based treatment for youth. For adults no specific approach has shown superiority and, presently, a combination of renourishment and psychotherapy such as specialist supportive clinical management, cognitive behavioral therapy, or interpersonal psychotherapy is recommended. RCTs have neither sufficiently addressed the more complex treatment approaches seen in routine practice settings, such as multidisciplinary treatment or level of care, nor specifically investigated treatment in ethnically diverse populations. Methodological challenges that hinder progress in controlled research for anorexia nervosa are explained. Conclusions The review highlights evidence-based and promising treatment modalities for anorexia nervosa and presents a triangulated analysis including controlled research, practice guidelines, and emerging treatments to inform and support clinical decision making. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012.


Mahoney A.E.J.,University of New South Wales | McEvoy P.M.,Center for Clinical Interventions | McEvoy P.M.,University of Western Australia
Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry | Year: 2012

Background and objectives: Recent research suggests that intolerance of uncertainty (IU), most commonly associated with generalized anxiety disorder, also contributes to symptoms of social phobia. This study examines the relationship between IU and social anxiety symptoms across treatment. Method: Changes in IU, social anxiety symptoms, and depression symptoms were examined following cognitive behavior group therapy (CBGT) for social phobia (N = 32). Results: CBGT led to significant improvements in symptoms of social anxiety and depression, as well as reductions in IU. Reductions in IU were associated with reductions in social anxiety but were unrelated to improvements in depression symptoms. Reductions in IU were predictive of post-treatment social phobia symptoms after controlling for pre-treatment social phobia symptoms and changes in depression symptoms following treatment. Limitations: The relationship between IU and social anxiety requires further examination within experimental and longitudinal designs, and needs to take into account additional constructs that are thought to maintain social phobia. Conclusions: Current findings suggest that the enhancing tolerance of uncertainty may play a role in the optimal management of social phobia. Theoretical and clinical implications are discussed. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


McEvoy P.M.,Center for Clinical Interventions | McEvoy P.M.,University of Western Australia | Mahoney A.E.J.,University of New South Wales
Journal of Anxiety Disorders | Year: 2013

This study aimed to replicate and extend a hierarchical model of vulnerability to worry, with neuroticism and extraversion as higher-order factors and negative metacognitions and intolerance of uncertainty as second-order factors. The model also included a transdiagnostic measure of repetitive negative thinking (RNT) and depression symptoms as outcome variables to determine whether relationships would extend beyond worry, which has traditionally been studied within the context of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Participants (N= 99) were referrals to a specialist anxiety disorders clinic with a principal anxiety disorder who completed a battery of self-report questionnaires assessing neuroticism, extraversion, metacognitions, intolerance of uncertainty, worry, RNT, and depression symptoms. Mediational analyses using bootstrapping provided support for transdiagnostic and diagnosis-specific mediation effects. Negative metacognitions fully mediated the relationship between neuroticism and RNT for the whole sample and for subsamples with and without GAD. Intolerance of uncertainty mediated the relationship between neuroticism and worry (for the whole sample and for those with GAD) and between neuroticism and RNT (for those with GAD). Implications for theory, treatment, and nosology are discussed. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Mahoney A.E.J.,University of New South Wales | McEvoy P.M.,Center for Clinical Interventions | McEvoy P.M.,University of Western Australia | Moulds M.L.,University of New South Wales
Journal of Anxiety Disorders | Year: 2012

Repetitive negative thinking (RNT) is thought to contribute to the maintenance of many emotional disorders. Although several measures of RNT are available, the items of most of these instruments index RNT that is specific to particular diagnostic groups (e.g., RNT about depression symptoms). This has limited our ability to examine the relevance of RNT across diagnostic groups and advance our understanding of RNT as a transdiagnostic process. This study evaluated the psychometric properties of the Repetitive Thinking Questionnaire (RTQ), a transdiagnostic measure of RNT. In a clinical sample of individuals with anxiety and depressive disorders (N=186), the RTQ demonstrated good internal consistency, convergent, and divergent validity. Supporting the transdiagnostic nature of the measure, the Repetitive Negative Thinking subscale of the RTQ was associated with a variety of negative emotions and metacognitive beliefs, and significantly predicted symptoms of multiple disorders when controlling for neuroticism. Our findings support the use of the RTQ as a transdiagnostic, trans-emotional measure of maladaptive repetitive thought following distressing events, with scope to increase efficiency and reduce burden on patients by assessing RNT in clinical settings with one short measure. Experimental and longitudinal research identifying mechanisms driving RNT using the RTQ would be informative for theory and treatment developments. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


McEvoy P.M.,Center for Clinical Interventions | McEvoy P.M.,University of Western Australia | Nathan P.,Center for Clinical Interventions | Rapee R.M.,Macquarie University | Campbell B.N.C.,Center for Clinical Interventions
Behaviour Research and Therapy | Year: 2012

Cognitive Behavioural Group Therapy (CBGT) for social phobia has been shown to be efficacious within research units and effective within a variety of real world clinical settings. However, most effectiveness studies of CBGT for social phobia have (a) used protocols without demonstrated efficacy, (b) not included direct comparison groups, and/or (c) contained features of efficacy trials. This study addressed these limitations by using a benchmarking strategy to compare outcomes from the same CBGT protocol used in both a research unit and a community clinic. Research (N = 71) and community (N = 94) patients completed the same 12-session protocol, which resulted in significant reductions in social anxiety and life interference at post-treatment. Compared to research unit patients, community patients had more severe symptoms and life interference at pre-treatment, and were more likely to be male, use medication, have comorbid disorders, and have lower educational attainment. Importantly, degree of improvement on social anxiety symptoms and life interference did not differ across the treatment settings for either completer or intention-to-treat analyses. There was some evidence that being younger, single, and having a depression diagnosis were associated with dropout. Pre-treatment symptoms and number of diagnoses predicted post-treatment symptoms. Consistent with previous uncontrolled trials, it is concluded that CBGT is effective within community mental health clinics. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


McEvoy P.M.,Center for Clinical Interventions | McEvoy P.M.,University of Western Australia | Mahoney A.E.J.,Clinical Research for Anxiety and Depression
Journal of Anxiety Disorders | Year: 2011

Evidence is accumulating that intolerance of uncertainty (IU) may be a transdiagnostic maintaining factor across the anxiety disorders and depression. However, psychometric studies of the most commonly used measure of IU have typically used undergraduate students, and the factor structure has been highly inconsistent. Previous studies have also tended to focus on one diagnostic subgroup or related symptom, thereby limiting transdiagnostic comparisons. The first aim of this study was to test the latent structure of a commonly used measure of IU in a treatment-seeking sample with anxiety and depression (n= 463). The second aim was to examine psychometric properties of the best fitting solution, including internal reliability, convergent validity, and discriminant validity. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to compare the goodness of fit of five models previously found with undergraduate and community samples. A two-factor solution, comprising of prospective anxiety and inhibitory anxiety, was the best fitting model. The total scale and subscales demonstrated excellent internal reliability. Convergent validity was demonstrated by the scales correlating with symptoms associated with five anxiety disorders and depression, as well as neuroticism, distress and disability. IU explained unique variance in all symptom measures, even after controlling for neuroticism and other symptom measures. Evidence of discriminant validity was also found for each IU subscale. Findings support reliability and validity of the two-factor solution, and are consistent with IU being a transdiagnostic maintaining factor. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


We internally validated previously published rates of remission, continuation and incidence of broadly defined eating disorders during pregnancy in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort (MoBa) at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. A total of 77 267 pregnant women enrolled at 17 weeks gestation between 2001 and 2009 were split into a training sample (n = 41 243) from the version 2 dataset and a validation sample (n = 36 024) from the version 5 dataset who were not in the original study. Internal validation of original rate models involved fitting a calibration model to compare model parameters between the two samples and bootstrap estimates of bias in the entire version 5 dataset. Remission, continuation and incidence estimates remained stable. Pre-pregnancy prevalence estimates in the validation sample were: anorexia nervosa (AN; 0.1%), bulimia nervosa (BN; 1.0%), binge eating disorder (BED; 3.3%) and eating disorder not otherwise specified-purging disorder (EDNOS-P; 0.1%). In early pregnancy, estimates were: BN (0.2%), BED (4.8%) and EDNOS-P (<0.01%). Incident BN and EDNOS-P during pregnancy were rare. The highest rates were for full or partial remission for BN and EDNOS-P and continuation for BED. We validated previously estimated rates of remission, continuation and incidence of eating disorders during pregnancy. Eating disorders, especially BED, during pregnancy were relatively common, occurring in nearly one in every 20 women. Pregnancy was a window of remission from BN but a window of vulnerability for BED. Training to detect eating disorders by obstetricians/gynecologists and interventions to enhance pregnancy and neonatal outcomes warrant attention.


McEvoy P.M.,Center for Clinical Interventions | McEvoy P.M.,Curtin University Australia | Saulsman L.M.,Center for Clinical Interventions
Behaviour Research and Therapy | Year: 2014

Cognitive behavioural group therapy (CBGT) for social anxiety disorder (SAD) is efficacious and effective, however a substantial proportion of patients remain in the clinical range so treatment innovations are required. Research suggests that working within the imagery mode may be more emotionally potent than traditional verbal-linguistic strategies. This study piloted an imagery-enhanced CBGT (IE-CBGT) protocol for SAD. It was hypothesised that IE-CBGT would be acceptable to patients, demonstrate large effect sizes, and compare favourably to historical controls who completed CBGT without the imagery-enhancements. Patients (N=19) were consecutive referrals to a community clinic specialising in anxiety and mood disorders. Primary outcomes were self-reported performance and social interaction anxiety. IE-CBGT was highly acceptable to patients with high attendance and completion rates. Effect sizes were large by mid-treatment and very large at post-treatment and follow-up. A high proportion of patients achieved reliable change. Outcomes compared favourably to published group and individual treatments for SAD but larger randomised controlled trials are now required. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

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