Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Original Article

Attribution Retraining Group Therapy and SSRIs Affect Differing Facets of Anxiety Among Chinese Patients with Various Diagnoses: A Single-Center, Prospective Study

1.

Nanjing Brain Hospital Affiliated to Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China

2.

School of Psychology, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China

3.

Department of Social Work and Social Administration, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

4.

Mental Health Institute, Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China

5.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, New York, USA

6.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Institute of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China

Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology 2020; 30: 97-106
DOI: 10.5455/PCP.20200530013456
Read: 1102 Downloads: 538 Published: 19 January 2021

Background: The NIMH launched a Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) initiative, which encouraged researchers to shift from traditional categorical conceptions of mental disorders to process-oriented psychological functions described by constructs. As anxiety was chosen to be one of the constructs in RDoC, the present study aimed to compare different anxiety improvement pattern in clinical setting, because this was important for developing treatment strategies of anxiety under RDoC frame. The study compared potential differences in trajectory of anxiety symptoms improvement in patients with various diagnoses receiving attribution retraining group therapy (ARGT) and those undergoing first-line selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) in clinical care setting.

Methods: Participants were randomly assigned to ARGT (n = 63) or SSRI group (n = 66) group. Patients receiving ARGT had one session per week for 8 weeks. Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA) was measured at 5 sequential time points during treatment.

Results: The results for the HAMA total scores showed only time effect was significant, showing that no significant differences in HAMA total score between ARGT and SSRI. Additionally, both groups over time reduced HAMA score significantly.

Conclusions: The results of the subscales analyses showed that both SSRI and ARGT group had effectively reduced anxiety symptoms. ARGT preferentially targeted on depressive symptoms and behaviour at interview. SSRI preferentially targeted on anxious emotions. Sequences of symptom improvement of two groups were different. Both ARGT and SSRI can effectively reduce anxiety symptoms of patients. The change process and underlying mechanism may differ in the two treatments.

To cite this article: Kong J, Xu H, Ji X, Zhang J, Yang H, Zhang Y, Heffner KL, Wang C, Zhang N. Attribution Retraining Group Therapy and SSRIs Affect Differing Facets of Anxiety Among Chinese Patients with Various Diagnoses: A Single-Center, Prospective Study. Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology 2020;30(2):97-106

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