Meta-Analysis of the Efficacy and Acceptability of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy for Arab Adult Populations Experiencing Anxiety, Depression or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Little is known about the response of Arab adults to psychological treatments. One psychological treatment that may be compatible with Arabs preferences for a short-term and directed psychological treatment that focuses on practical skills is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). CBT is an effective psychological treatment for anxiety, depression and PTSD in western populations. However, the effectiveness and suitability of CBT in the treatment of anxiety, depression and PTSD in Arab adult populations is not clear. A meta-analysis was conducted to identify how effective and acceptable CBT is for Arab populations.

Three randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and six single group open trails were reviewed. The meta-analysis showed that CBT had large effect sizes for reducing symptoms of anxiety, depression and PTSD in Arab Adult populations at post-treatment and follow-up. In addition, drop-out rates were low and about one-third of participants no longer met diagnostic criteria for anxiety, depression or PTSD. Interestingly, five out of the nine studies delivered CBT remotely or via internet and was found to have similar effect sizes as face-to-face CBT. Overall, these preliminary findings demonstrate the potential of CBT, delivered either face-to-face or via internet, as effective and acceptable interventions for the treatment of anxiety, depression and PTSD for Arab adult populations. This study highlights the small number of RCT studies and the need for further research to include more RCTs, larger samples and longer-term measurement of outcomes.

Read the full paper: Kayrouz, R., Dear, B. F., Kayrouz, B., Karin, E., Gandy, M., & Titov, N. (in press). Meta-analysis of the efficacy and acceptability of cognitive-behavioural therapy for Arab adult populations experiencing anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. doi:10.1080/16506073.2018.1445124

Rony Kayrouz


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