Quantitative Evaluation of the Clinical Efficacy of Attention Bias Modification Treatment for Anxiety Disorders


Quantitative Evaluation of the Clinical Efficacy of Attention Bias Modification Treatment for Anxiety Disorders


Linetzky M; Pergamin-HL; Pine DS; Bar‐Haim Yair



Depression And Anxiety




Anxiety Disorders; Cognition; Confidence Intervals; Depression; Anxiety; Psychology; Children; Clinical Trials; computer; Anxieties; Anxiety Disorders - therapy; COGNITIVE-BEHAVIORAL THERAPY; PSYCHIATRY; Psychology; THREAT; INDIVIDUALS; Clinical; GENERALIZED SOCIAL PHOBIA; Internet technology; Meta-Analysis; MODIFICATION PROGRAM; RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED-TRIAL; STIMULI; treatment


Attention bias modification treatment (ABMT) is a novel treatment for anxiety disorders. Although a number of other meta-analytic reviews exist, the purpose of the present meta-analysis is to examine issues unaddressed in prior reviews. Specifically, the review estimates the efficacy of ABMT in clinically anxious patients and examines the effect of delivery context (clinic vs. home) on symptom reduction. A literature search using PsychInfo and Web of Science databases was performed. Only randomized controlled trials (RCTs) examining dot-probe-based ABMT in clinically diagnosed anxious patients were included. From 714 articles located through the search, 36 ABMT studies were identified and 11 studies met inclusion criteria (N = 589 patients). ABMT was associated with greater clinician-rated reductions in anxiety symptoms relative to control training: between-groups effect (d = 0.42, P = .001, confidence interval (CI) = 0.18-0.66), contrast of within-group effects (Q = 7.25, P < .01). More patients in the treatment group no longer met formal diagnostic criteria for their anxiety disorder posttreatment relative to patients in the control condition (P < .05). Analyses of patients' self-reported anxiety were nonsignificant for the between-groups contrast (P = .35), and were at a trend level of significance for the contrast between the within-group effects (P = .06). Moderation analysis of the between-groups effect revealed a significant effect for ABMT delivered in the clinic (d = 0.34, P = 0.01, CI = 0.07-0.62), and a nonsignificant effect for ABMT delivered at home (d = -0.10, P = 0.40, CI = -0.33-0.13). The current meta-analysis provides support for ABMT as a novel evidenced-based treatment for anxiety disorders. Overall, ABMT effects are mainly evident when it is delivered in the clinic and when clinical outcome is evaluated by a clinician. More RCTs of ABMT in specific anxiety disorders are warranted.


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Linetzky M; Pergamin-HL; Pine DS; Bar‐Haim Yair, “Quantitative Evaluation of the Clinical Efficacy of Attention Bias Modification Treatment for Anxiety Disorders,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed January 21, 2022, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/14497.

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