Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 53, Issue 4, pp 432–437 | Cite as

Common Barriers to the Dissemination of Exposure Therapy for Youth with Anxiety Disorders

  • Adam M. Reid
  • Maria I. Bolshakova
  • Andrew G. Guzick
  • Alyka G. Fernandez
  • Catherine W. Striley
  • Gary R. Geffken
  • Joseph P. McNamara
Brief Report


This study investigated the prevalence of common barriers to the use of exposure therapy (ET) in the treatment of youth with anxiety disorders, specifically examining both logistical limitations and negative beliefs about ET. Results from 230 practicing clinicians who treat youth with anxiety disorders found that the top three barriers were session length (56%), lack of training (48%), and concern about parent reaction (47%). Endorsement of barriers to ET was associated with less ET utilization and less optimal implementation of ET. Results suggest that several barriers, especially logistical limitations, must be addressed in order to improve the dissemination of ET.


Cognitive-behavioral therapy Session length Training Community Evidenced-based practice 



The authors would like to thank the practicing clinicians who took the time to participate in this study. They would also like to thank the research assistants of the Division of Medical Psychology Research Lab at the University of Florida who contributed to this project. This study was funded by two mini-grants to the PI from the Center for Pediatric Psychology and Family Studies at the University of Florida.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adam M. Reid
    • 1
  • Maria I. Bolshakova
    • 2
  • Andrew G. Guzick
    • 2
    • 3
  • Alyka G. Fernandez
    • 2
  • Catherine W. Striley
    • 2
    • 3
  • Gary R. Geffken
    • 2
    • 3
  • Joseph P. McNamara
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.OCD Institute for Children and Adolescents, McLean HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolMiddleboroughUSA
  2. 2.College of MedicineUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  3. 3.College of Public Health and Health ProfessionsUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  4. 4.College of Liberal Arts and SciencesUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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