Attention Bias Modification (ABM) is a novel computer based treatment for anxiety disorders. It has been proposed as an efficient, accessible psychological therapy and is based on cognitive theories of attention. The present review sought to investigate the efficacy of ABM as a potential treatment for child and adolescent anxiety.
A systematic literature review was conducted, using three main databases, PsycINFO, Embase and Medline, to identify original research articles which measured the effect of ABM on anxiety levels in children and/or adolescents.
Ten articles met the inclusion criteria and of these 10, three were randomised control trials. A lack of standardisation in relation to the treatment protocol was observed; nonetheless the identified studies generally provided evidence for the efficacy of ABM as an anxiety treatment.
Due to the nature of the studies found, a statistical meta-analysis was not possible.
ABM seems to be a promising, novel treatment for child and/or adolescent anxiety disorders with merits over lengthier, talking based therapies. However, more rigorous research trials are needed to clarify the mechanisms behind ABM and establish effective, standardised treatment protocols.
(PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
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