Veterans Anxiety Skills Training Intervention for Anxiety Disorders

Phase-Based Estimates
VA Western New York Healthcare System, Buffalo, NY, Buffalo, NY
Anxiety Disorders+1 More
Veterans Anxiety Skills Training Intervention - Behavioral
All Sexes
Eligible conditions
Anxiety Disorders

Study Summary

This study is evaluating whether a brief anxiety treatment designed for Veterans is more effective at reducing anxiety symptoms and impairment in Veterans compared to usual care.

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Eligible Conditions

  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Anxiety

Treatment Effectiveness

Effectiveness Estimate

2 of 3
This is better than 85% of similar trials

Study Objectives

This trial is evaluating whether Veterans Anxiety Skills Training Intervention will improve 1 primary outcome, 1 secondary outcome, and 3 other outcomes in patients with Anxiety Disorders. Measurement will happen over the course of Baseline, Post-assessment (16 weeks), Follow-up assessment (28 weeks).

Week 28
Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 change
Overall Anxiety Severity and Impairment Scale change
Week 28
Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale change
Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire-Short Form change
Sheehan Disability Scale change

Trial Safety

Safety Estimate

3 of 3
This is better than 85% of similar trials

Trial Design

2 Treatment Groups

Control condition
Intervention condition

This trial requires 178 total participants across 2 different treatment groups

This trial involves 2 different treatments. Veterans Anxiety Skills Training Intervention is the primary treatment being studied. Participants will all receive the same treatment. There is no placebo group. The treatments being tested are in Phase 3 and have had some early promising results.

Intervention condition
Modular cognitive-behavioral anxiety intervention tailored to and personalized for Veterans
Control condition
Usual care anxiety treatment

Trial Logistics

Trial Timeline

Approximate Timeline
Screening: ~3 weeks
Treatment: Varies
Reporting: baseline, 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks, post-assessment (16 weeks), follow-up assessment (28 weeks)
This trial has the following approximate timeline: 3 weeks for initial screening, variable treatment timelines, and roughly baseline, 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks, post-assessment (16 weeks), follow-up assessment (28 weeks) for reporting.

Closest Location

VA Western New York Healthcare System, Buffalo, NY - Buffalo, NY

Eligibility Criteria

This trial is for patients born any sex aged 18 and older. There are 4 eligibility criteria to participate in this trial as listed below.

Mark “yes” if the following statements are true for you:
Age >=18 years
Seen in the Syracuse VAMC or Buffalo VAMC primary care clinic in the past 12 months
Screen positive for current (past 2 weeks) clinically significant anxiety symptoms (>= 8 on GAD7)

Patient Q&A Section

Please Note: These questions and answers are submitted by anonymous patients, and have not been verified by our internal team.

How many people get anxiety disorders a year in the United States?

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In the US, about 6.6 million people are diagnosed with OCD, approximately 5.7 million persons have depression, and 563,000 have [social anxiety]( disorder. The data presented show that the number of people with anxiety disorders in the U.S. was very large in 2005, which is why the problem of anxiety disorders has been recognized as one of the greatest public health issues.

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What causes anxiety disorders?

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Overall there is evidence suggesting that the causes of anxiety disorders can vary substantially and be associated with factors that tend to be familial, environmental and psychological predispositions combined with biological and neurophysiological factors. An explanation for why anxiety may vary within and among the individual's biological/psychological/social family backgrounds appears necessary for further study to determine to which extent anxiety disorders are attributable to genetic, environmental, and psychological predispositions, which to what extent genetic/environmental risk factors play a role and which other factors (including behavioral and psychological) contribute to the development and severity of individual anxiety disorders in adulthood.

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What are the signs of anxiety disorders?

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The signs of anxiety tend to encompass the symptomatology of a range of disorders. However, it is important to note the distinction between obsessive-compulsive (OCD) and generalized anxiety (AG). As these conditions occur at the extremes of the spectrum of psychopathology to which anxiety disorders often belong, their signs can be grouped into three main categories: obsessional, somatic, and social. The latter category encompasses a range of complaints including depression, fatigue, impaired self-image, and low libido, all of which are associated with an anxiety disorder. The specific symptoms to which these symptoms can be added depends on the particular anxiety disorder under consideration.

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What is anxiety disorders?

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Anxiety disorders have a negative impact on individuals from all socioeconomic backgrounds and can have a strong negative mental and physical effect on daily functioning. In the US, the lifetime prevalence (the percentage of people at any point in their life having at least one manifestation of an anxiety disorder) of any type of anxiety disorder is estimated to be between 15 and 70%. A few specific anxiety disorders are much more common—depression, generalized anxiety disorder, phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder—have a lifetime prevalence of more than 20%. People who have at least one of the lifetime prevalences of anxiety disorders are estimated to have increased risk by a factor of 3.1 for depression, 3.

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Can anxiety disorders be cured?

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Although a high degree of hope for a recovery with pharmacologic or psychotherapeutic treatments can be a motivator and a source of temporary relief for many sufferers, the data we reviewed indicate that only a small minority could be "cured" of their anxiety disorders (by pharmacological or psychosomatic means), and at the time of the original reviews the median duration of therapy ranged from a few months to 2 years. Clearly, for a majority of patients anxious disorders cannot be cured and the long-term treatment with psychotropic medications or psychotherapy is not a curative therapy (despite popular belief), it is instead a life-preserving therapy only aimed at reducing symptoms.

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What are common treatments for anxiety disorders?

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A wide range of treatments are available for anxiety disorders. Specific therapy involves education on how anxiety and avoidance of fears interfere with life. For severe anxiety, many people are prescribed tranquilizer or beta blockers. For panic attacks and social phobia, CBT can be extremely helpful. Physical therapy and massage can be part of CBT therapy, in addition to counselling. Cognitive behavior therapy is also used in treatment and prevention of eating disorders. People with anxiety disorders have a lower cure rate than those with other disorders. The most effective interventions are psychotherapy with the person's help or counselling and medication. There is no single best treatment, nor are treatment protocols good.

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Have there been other clinical trials involving veterans anxiety skills training intervention?

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[There were a wide variety of PTSD studies in a variety of settings such as CBT, pharmacotherapy, skills training, and exercise. Thus, it appears that no trials focused specifically on skills practice have been published. Nevertheless, we suggest that it may be useful to include a skills training module within a PTSD treatment package that would include skills practice sessions.

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What is veterans anxiety skills training intervention?

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VA Anxiety Skills Training (ASCIT) is a brief and intensive psychological treatment for veteran anxiety. The intervention was associated with improvements in anxiety symptoms. Treatment retention was high. The ASCIT program represents a simple and easily administered intervention that could serve as one component of a broader prevention strategy to reduce symptom burden and improve quality of life in veterans with anxiety conditions.

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Is veterans anxiety skills training intervention safe for people?

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Those receiving the intervention demonstrated the benefit of the training over time and were able to deliver the training to those individuals who reported significant fear and trauma-related problems. However, it did not reduce fear or trauma symptoms more than control. Clinicians should consider administering the intervention to people who are reported to have fears or traumas that would be detrimental to the well-being of their patients in clinical settings. In clinical practice, clinicians can use existing assessments to predict who will benefit from the intervention to improve general psychological well-being among veterans. Future, larger studies with a more clinically diverse sample will be needed to confirm the conclusions of this study.

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Is veterans anxiety skills training intervention typically used in combination with any other treatments?

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Results from a recent paper found that the combination of veterans AT plus CB was used less frequently than the treatments combined. Overall, there was an overall trend toward greater veterans' self-efficacy (or self-confidence), and less use of CB.

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What does veterans anxiety skills training intervention usually treat?

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In addressing challenges in delivering services, training was efficacious in increasing skills related to PTSD, social functioning, job retention, and global functioning. It is important for health care professionals to deliver services that focus on the needs of individual veterans.

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What are the latest developments in veterans anxiety skills training intervention for therapeutic use?

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Although there are many advances in veterans anxiety skills training intervention for therapeutic use (v-ATSIT), [novel ways to implement anxiety skills training in veterans (v-ATSIT)] will need to be defined before it can be effectively implemented in clinical settings.

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