Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were eligible for inclusion in the review.
Specific interventions included in the review
No specific inclusion criteria relating to the interventions of interest were defined. The studies included in the review assessed various CBT against a waiting-list control group, a no treatment control group or an attention placebo control group. The included studies had follow-up periods ranging from 1 month to 6 years.
Participants included in the review
Studies with participants aged between 8 and 18 years with a specific disorder were eligible for inclusion. Such disorders included specific phobias, social phobia, selective mutism, overanxious disorder, separation anxiety disorder, panic disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, major depression and dysthymia. Studies of participants with obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder or bipolar disorder were excluded from the review. The average age of the participants in the anxiety disorders studies was 9.85 years and the majority of studies involved both male and female participants.
Outcomes assessed in the review
Studies were eligible for inclusion if they contained an outcome measure of known clinical significance and used an appropriate analytical strategy according to study design. Studies with a follow-up assessment were not essential, but were preferred. The outcomes measures in the included studies addressing anxiety disorders were generally multi-method and multi-informant. All of the studies addressing depressive disorders used psychometrically sound measures, and half reported the percentage of participants who no longer met the criteria for a depressive disorder.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
The authors did not state how the papers were selected for the review, or how many reviewers performed the selection.