Routine treatment duration for clients attending a community based anxiety disorders clinic

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Journal Article
Australasian Psychiatry, 2018, 26 (3), pp. 307 - 310
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© 2016, The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists 2016. Objective: To determine the average duration of treatment at a community-based anxiety disorders clinic. Method: Data were collected on primary disorder, the presence of co-occurring disorders and treatment length (both in terms of number of sessions and weeks of therapy) for 248 consecutive clients. Results: The mean number of sessions was 13, and average treatment length was 29 weeks. There was substantial variation in treatment duration (range for number of sessions = 1–128, range for treatment duration = 0–186 weeks). Conclusion: Clients with anxiety disorders were often treated in relatively few sessions, in line with randomised controlled trials (RCTs). However, a number of clients required many more sessions and were treated for a longer period of time than clients in RCTs. Health services should be cautious in mandating limits to therapy duration for anxiety disorders given the wide range in the duration of treatment for clients in our sample.
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