Outcomes of Self-help Efforts in Anxiety Disorders

Amy J Morgan; Anthony F Jorm


Expert Rev Pharmacoeconomics Outcomes Res. 2009;9(5):445-459. 

In This Article

Five-year View

There is still much to learn about self-help efforts for anxiety disorders. It is unlikely that a significant amount of research will accumulate for the complementary-medicine-oriented self-help approaches with some initial evidence, such as Ginkgo biloba and Withania somnifera. There is less financial incentive to research these treatments, as they are not patentable, and there is less need for efficacy data to satisfy regulatory requirements, as they are often regulated as foods rather than pharmaceuticals. We predict that with the internet's expanding reach and increasing access speeds, more research on self-help for anxiety will be conducted in online settings. The internet combines the wide reach typical of mass media communications with the features of interpersonal interactions ideal for changing behavior, such as interactivity, customization, multimedia and even virtual environments. These characteristics make it ideal for encouraging self-help behavior change in large public health interventions,[89] which have the potential for reducing the population burden of anxiety disorders. Future research will help answer questions such as: which individual characteristics predict response or nonresponse to self-help;[90] which strategies improve patient motivation and adherence; and what is the cost–effectiveness of self-help interventions. As stepped-care models become more accepted and the use of self-help more widespread, research will be conducted on the uptake of these models and the barriers to their implementation.[91]


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