Evaluation of a Primary Prevention Program for Anxiety Disorders Using Story Books with Children Aged 9–12 Years
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- Bouchard, S., Gervais, J., Gagnier, N. et al. J Primary Prevent (2013) 34: 345. doi:10.1007/s10935-013-0317-0
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This article reports the results of a study evaluating a book-supported primary prevention program “Dominique’s Handy Tricks” for anxiety disorders in children aged 9–12 years. This cognitive-behavioural program is delivered using a combination of storybooks and workshop sessions. The originality of the program comes from the use of storybooks that were not developed specifically for anxiety management. Every session is based on a story describing characters facing common stressors and how they manage to cope with their daily problems. In our randomized control trial with 46 children, participation in the program led to a significant improvement in coping skills, perceived self-efficacy, anxiety sensitivity, as well as in symptoms of anxiety and fear. The theoretical and practical elements underlying the delivery of this primary prevention program are described. Conclusion: It is suggested that such an approach, without any labelling specific to anxiety disorders, can be useful in primary prevention programs.