Question: In older adults with anxiety disorders what is the most effective behavioural intervention in reducing anxiety symptoms? (with any additional comments on outcomes in relation to depression)


One systematic review provided some indication of a small positive effect, for all of the active treatments assessed (cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), relaxation therapy (RT), CBT+RT, and active control) upon anxiety and depression in older adults. However, there was no clear indication of any difference in effectiveness between the treatments assessed. As noted by the authors, limitations in the available evidence mean that their results should be interpreted with caution. Further, larger RCTs are needed, which directly compare the effectiveness of different types of behavioural intervention in this patient group.

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