Preventive psychological, educational programs beneficial

September 10, 2017

(HealthDay)—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 assessing the effectiveness of preventive psychological and/or 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 . 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.

Explore further: Coping support assists parents of hospitalized children

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