Koszycki D, Bilodeau C, Raab-Mayo K, Bradwejn J
J Clin Psychol 2013 Oct;
OBJECTIVES: We have previously reported that a multifaith spiritually based intervention (SBI) may have efficacy in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). This randomized pilot trial tested whether the SBI had greater efficacy than a nonspecific control condition in GAD.
METHOD: Twenty-three participants with GAD of at least moderate severity were randomized to 12 individual sessions of the SBI (n = 11) or supportive psychotherapy (SP)-our control condition (n = 12).
RESULTS: Intent-to-treat analysis revealed the SBI fared better than SP in decreasing blind clinician ratings of anxiety and illness severity and self-report worry and intolerance of uncertainty, with large between-group effect sizes. The SBI also produced greater changes in spiritual well-being. Results remained the same when supplementary analyses were performed on the completer sample. Treatment gains were maintained at 3-months follow-up.
CONCLUSIONS: This small pilot trial demonstrates that a nondenominational SBI has greater efficacy than a rigorous control in improving symptoms of GAD and enhancing spiritual well-being. These results are encouraging and further research on the efficacy of the SBI and its underlying mechanisms is warranted.