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Preventive Psychological, Educational Programs Beneficial


HealthDay News
Updated: Sep 8th 2017

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FRIDAY, Sept. 8, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Psychological and/or educational interventions have a small but significant benefit for anxiety prevention, according to a review and meta-analysis published online Sept. 6 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Patricia Moreno-Peral, Ph.D., from the Institute of Biomedical Research in Malaga in Spain, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review in which they identified 29 randomized clinical trials assessing the effectiveness of preventive psychological and/or educational interventions for anxiety in varying populations. The studies involved 10,430 patients from 11 countries.

The researchers found that the pooled standardized mean difference (SMD) was −0.31 and heterogeneity was substantial. After adjustment, the effect size barely varied (SMD, −0.27), although there was evidence of publication bias. The robustness of effect size results was confirmed in sensitivity analyses. The vast majority of between-study variability (99.6 percent) was explained by a meta-regression including five variables, revealing an association between higher SMD, waiting list, and a lower sample size.

"Although more studies with larger samples and active comparators are needed, these findings suggest that anxiety prevention programs should be further developed and implemented," conclude the authors.

Abstract/Full Text