Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety Disorders: Outcomes From a Multi-State, Multi-Site Primary Care Practice

Olivia E. Bogucki, Julia R. Craner, Summer L. Berg, Megan K. Wolsey, Stephanie J. Miller, Kileen T. Smyth, Marcia W. Johnson, John D. Mack, Sara J. Sedivy, Lisa M. Burke, Melissa A. Glader, Mark W. Williams, David J. Katzelnick, Craig N. Sawchuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health conditions. Individuals with anxiety typically seek services in primary, rather than specialty, care. While there is significant evidence supporting the efficacy and effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety disorders, there have been no naturalistic studies reporting anxiety-specific treatment outcomes in primary care. Methods: Participants (N = 1,589) were recruited from a multi-state, multi-site primary care practice, with 491 participants endorsing moderate to severe anxiety at baseline and engaging in at least one CBT session. Data was drawn from a psychotherapy tracking database. Results: Among participants with moderate to severe anxiety who engaged in CBT, a significant decrease in anxiety and depression symptoms was observed over the course of psychotherapy (p < .001, d = 0.57-0.95). Rates of reliable change, response, and remission varied across diagnostic categories. The use of CBT interventions also varied across diagnoses in line with evidence-based treatment recommendations. Discussion: Short-term CBT delivered in primary care is associated with significant improvements in anxiety and depression symptoms among participants with anxiety disorders. These findings support the use of a population-based approach to anxiety disorders treatment and suggest that evidence-based CBT can be implemented in the real-world setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102345
JournalJournal of anxiety disorders
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Adult
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Effectiveness
  • Naturalistic
  • Treatment outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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