ESCAP 2015 Madrid State of the Art lecture

Management of anxiety disorders in children and adolescents

Cathy Creswell

S4-03 – State of the art lecture, Sunday June 21st 2015, 3.00 PM


Anxiety disorders in childhood and adolescence are common and often associated with lifelong psychiatric disturbance, yet families often struggle to access evidence based treatments. Psychological treatments for these disorders have been developed, in particular cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and this is typically considered to be the optimal first-line treatment approach. A particular advance in recent years is the development of low intensity versions of CBT interventions that offer a means to increase access to evidence-based treatments. This state of the art lecture will give an overview of current best practice in the management of anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. This will include findings from two recent randomized controlled trials of brief CBT approaches: (i) parent-led CBT for anxiety disorders in childhood, and (ii) online CBT for adolescents with anxiety disorders. Implications for a stepped care approach to the treatment of anxiety disorders in children and young people will be considered as a means to optimize access to effective treatments.