Pretreatment intervention increases treatment outcomes for patients with anxiety disorders

Julia D. Buckner, Kiara R. Cromer, Katherine A. Merrill, Michael A. Mallott, Norman B. Schmidt, Cristina Lopez, Jill M. Holm-Denoma, Thomas E. Joiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The current study evaluated the utility of a pretreatment intervention aimed at increasing treatment attendance. We extended past work by evaluating whether this intervention was associated with less impairment at termination. Given that patients with anxiety disorders demonstrate high rates of premature termination, we assessed whether these patients would be particularly likely to benefit. The sample included 172 patients at a community outpatient mental health clinic. Patients were assigned to the intervention condition (asked to imagine attending therapy sessions) or an information control condition. Number of sessions attended and termination Clinician Global Impressions (CGI) served as outcome variables. Contrary to prior work, the two conditions did not significantly differ on outcomes. Yet, patients with anxiety disorders in the intervention condition attended the most sessions and had least termination symptom severity. This intervention may provide a simple yet powerful method to increase treatment adherence and effectiveness for patients with anxiety disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-137
Number of pages12
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety disorders
  • Motivation
  • Psychotherapy
  • Treatment compliance
  • Treatment dropout

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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