J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2006 Dec;10(2):76-79.

Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Late-Life Anxiety Disorder

  • 1Division of Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. psyoh@chollian.net


This paper reviews the Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment (CBT) of late-life anxiety disorders, mainly focused on generalized anxiety disorder. CBT for late-life anxiety disorder is usually based on the same programs with demonstrated efficacy in younger adults, with specific treatment components included relaxation training, cognitive restructuring, and exposure. CBT for late-life anxiety disorders was proved to be more effective than no treatment. But, the existing body of work does not clearly indicate the superiority of CBT over alternative psychosocial interventions. Another serious limitation of CBT is that the rates of attrition in many trials are higher among older adults than among younger adults. Those limitations are strongly suggested that augmented CBT to meet the late-life adult's characteristics and needs, like as execute function, should be developed. Enhanced CBT is the one of the example, it includes the standard CBT elements, as well as additional attention to at-home practice assignments, reminder telephone call and weekly reviews of concepts and techniques. In conclusion, this review suggested the potential value of CBT for late-life anxiety disorders. Based on the current literature, nonstandard and augmented therapies appear to produce best results.


Cognitive-behavioral treatment; Late-life anxiety disorders; GAD; Executive function
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