Psychological treatment of co-occurring anxiety disorders in clinical practice: A vignette study.

Gavin Clark, Tanya Hancock, Laura Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Objectives
Many individuals with anxiety difficulties present with co‐occurring anxiety disorders yet no evidence‐based guidelines exist on how to treat this presentation. The present study investigated how Australian psychologists approach treating co‐occurring anxiety disorders.

A total of 169 psychologists practicing in Australia undertook an online survey consisting of open‐questions relating to the treatment of DSM‐IV anxiety disorder diagnoses and reported practice in relation to two clinical vignettes. Participant responses were coded using a directed content analysis approach.

The majority of psychologists reported utilising cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) interventions in the treatment of single and co‐occurring anxiety disorders but not specific evidence‐based treatment guides or protocols. The majority of the psychologists surveyed reported that they adopt a transdiagnostic approach to addressing co‐occurring anxiety disorders.

Psychologists typically do not follow a specific treatment guide in the treatment of anxiety disorders and judge a transdiagnostic approach incorporating CBT techniques as the best way to treat comorbidity. More effort may be needed to disseminate evidence‐based interventions for anxiety disorders and for authors of empirically supported treatments to provide clear guidelines regarding treating co‐occurring anxiety disorders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)480-490
Number of pages11
JournalAustralian Psychologist
Early online date9 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


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