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Cognitive-behavioural therapy for anxiety in dementia: pilot randomised controlled trial

Spector, A., Charlesworth, G., King, M. , Lattimer, M., Sadek, S., Marston, L., Rehill, A., Hoe, J., Qazi, A., Knapp, M. & Orrell, M. (2015). Cognitive-behavioural therapy for anxiety in dementia: pilot randomised controlled trial. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 206(6), pp. 509-516. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.113.140087



Anxiety is common and problematic in dementia, yet there is a lack of effective treatments.


To develop a cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) manual for anxiety in dementia and determine its feasibility through a randomised controlled trial.


A ten-session CBT manual was developed. Participants with dementia and anxiety (and their carers) were randomly allocated to CBT plus treatment as usual (TAU) (n = 25) or TAU (n = 25). Outcome and cost measures were administered at baseline, 15 weeks and 6 months.


At 15 weeks, there was an adjusted difference in anxiety (using the Rating Anxiety in Dementia scale) of (–3.10, 95% CI –6.55 to 0.34) for CBT compared with TAU, which just fell short of statistical significance. There were significant improvements in depression at 15 weeks after adjustment (–5.37, 95% CI –9.50 to –1.25). Improvements remained significant at 6 months. CBT was cost neutral.


CBT was feasible (in terms of recruitment, acceptability and attrition) and effective. A fully powered RCT is now required.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an author-produced electronic version of an article published in the British Journal of Psychiatry. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
Text - Accepted Version
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