Trial record 13 of 232 for:    social phobia OR anxiety disorders OR social anxiety disorder OR avoidance personality disorder | Open Studies | NIH

Attention Disengagement Training for Social Phobia (SPAttn)

The recruitment status of this study is unknown because the information has not been verified recently.
Verified May 2008 by San Diego State University.
Recruitment status was  Recruiting
Information provided by:
San Diego State University Identifier:
First received: May 22, 2008
Last updated: May 23, 2008
Last verified: May 2008

Generalized Social Phobia is characterized by severe social anxiety that leads to functional impairment (Schneider et al., 1992). Despite its high prevalence, many individuals do not receive treatment or are unresponsive to current therapies. Thus there is a clear need to continue to develop highly effective and efficient treatments for social phobia. This three year project aims to test a computerized treatment for social phobia in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study designed to modify attention biases that may maintain anxiety.

Condition Intervention
Social Anxiety Disorder
Behavioral: Attention Modification Program
Behavioral: Placebo Condition

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Attention Disengagement Training for Social Phobia

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by San Diego State University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS) [ Time Frame: Pre, Post, Followup ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory [ Time Frame: Pre, Post, Followup ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Estimated Enrollment: 72
Study Start Date: September 2006
Estimated Study Completion Date: August 2009
Estimated Primary Completion Date: August 2009 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: 2 PC
Placebo Condition
Behavioral: Placebo Condition
The placebo condition (PC) will be identical to the AMP condition except that during the presentation of the trials where a threat picture is present, the probe will appear with equal frequency in the position of threat and neutral pictures. Thus, neither threat nor neutral pictures have signal value with regard to the position of the probe.
Experimental: 1 AMP
Attention Modifications Program
Behavioral: Attention Modification Program
The AMP protocol includes twelve 30-min sessions delivered over a 6-week period. During each session, participants will see 320 trials consisting of the various combinations of probe type (E or F), probe position (top or bottom), and picture type (Neutral or Threat). Of the 240 trials, 64 include only neutral pictures: 2 (probe type) X 2 (probe position) X 16 (person). The remaining 256 trials include one neutral picture and one threat picture: 2 (probe type) X 2 (probe position) X 4 (repetitions) X 16 (person). On trials where participants see one neutral picture and one threat picture (i.e., 80% of the trials), the probe always follows the neutral word.

Detailed Description:

Generalized Social Phobia (GSP) is characterized by severe social anxiety that leads to functional impairment (Schneider, et al., 1992). The prevalence of GSP is 13.3% (lifetime, Kessler, et al., 1994), ranking third among all psychiatric disorders. Despite its high prevalence, over 30% of individuals with social anxiety who need treatment do not receive treatment for a variety of reasons (e.g., afraid of what others might think, Olfson, et al., 2000). Additionally, 40% of individuals who present for treatment do not respond (39% Heimberg, et al., 1998; 42%, Liebowitz et al., 2005). Thus, there is a clear need to develop highly effective and efficient treatment procedures for social phobia. This three-year proposal aims to test a computerized treatment for social anxiety in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Specifically, research suggests that individuals with social phobia direct their attention toward socially-relevant negative information. Therefore, the treatment will focus on changing this attention bias and thereby alleviate symptoms of social anxiety. We present the results of a pilot study (n=26) in treatment seeking socially phobic individuals demonstrating the effectiveness of the treatment. A larger study would allow us to test the treatment and perhaps modify its component to increase its efficacy. The preliminary results of the pilot are encouraging. In brief, our intervention was effective in: a) changing biased attention in socially anxious individuals, b) generalizing this change in disengagement of attention from threat to other measures of attention disengagement, c) reduce symptoms of social anxiety as assessed by an independent rater, d) maintain a high rate of compliance (0% drop out in the pilot study), and e) maintain its effects in follow-up assessment up to one year. This efficient and efficacious techniques for changing attention bias in social phobia can provide a cost-effective and easy to administer treatment that is grounded in basic cognitive science and may help reduce suffering in individuals with GSP. We will test two hypotheses in this proposal. 1) Individuals with GSP completing the Attention Disengagement Training (ADT) will show a larger reduction in their symptoms compared to the placebo group on an interviewer measure of social anxiety (Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale, LSAS). 2) Individuals with GSP completing ADT will show a larger reduction in their self-report of social anxiety symptoms compared to the placebo group


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 65 Years
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Principle DSM-IV-TR (APA, 2000) Diagnosis of social phobia - Generalized Type (GSP)

Exclusion Criteria:

  • No change in medication type or dosage twelve weeks prior to initiating treatment
  • No current psychotherapy
  • No evidence of suicidal intent
  • No evidence of substance abuse in the last 6 months
  • No evidence of current or past schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or organic mental disorder
  Contacts and Locations
Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00684320

Contact: Nader Amir, Ph.D. 619-229-3740

United States, California
San Diego State University Recruiting
San Diego, California, United States, 92120
Sponsors and Collaborators
San Diego State University
Principal Investigator: Nader Amir, Ph.D. SDSU/UCSD
  More Information

No publications provided

Responsible Party: Nader Amir, SDSU Identifier: NCT00684320     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: R34MH07300401A2, R34MH07300401A2
Study First Received: May 22, 2008
Last Updated: May 23, 2008
Health Authority: United States: Institutional Review Board

Keywords provided by San Diego State University:
Social Anxiety Disorder
Information Processing
Attention Bias

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Anxiety Disorders
Phobic Disorders
Mental Disorders processed this record on April 17, 2014