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Streamlined Prevention and Early Intervention for Pediatric Anxiety Disorders: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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Abstract

There is a need to optimize the fit between psychosocial interventions with known efficacy and the demands of real-word service delivery settings. However, adaptation of evidence-based interventions (EBI) raises questions about whether effectiveness can be retained. This randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluated a streamlined package of cognitive, behavior, and social skills training strategies known to prevent and reduce anxiety symptom and disorder escalation in youth. A total of 109 youth (Mage = 9.72; 68% girls; 54% Latinx) at risk based on high anxiety were randomized to the streamlined prevention and early intervention (SPEI) (n = 59) or control (n = 50) and were assessed at pretest, posttest, and 12-month follow-up. A main objective was to determine whether our redesign could be delivered by community providers, with acceptable levels of fidelity, quality, and impact. In terms of process evaluation results, there was high protocol fidelity, excellent clinical process skills, few protocol adaptations, and high satisfaction with the SPEI. In terms of outcomes, there were no significant main or moderated effects of the SPEI at the immediate posttest. However, at the follow-up, youth in the SPEI reported greater self-efficacy for managing anxiety-provoking situations, greater social skills, and fewer negative cognitive errors relative to controls. Collectively, findings suggest that the redesigned SPEI might be an attractive and efficient solution for service delivery settings.

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Correspondence to Armando A. Pina.

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Pina, A.A., Gonzales, N.A., Mazza, G.L. et al. Streamlined Prevention and Early Intervention for Pediatric Anxiety Disorders: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Prev Sci (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-019-01066-6

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Keywords

  • Prevention
  • Anxiety
  • Children
  • Latinx
  • Hybrid-1 effectiveness