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There is a growing interest in using cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) with people who have Asperger syndrome and comorbid mental health problems.
To examine whether modified group CBT for clinically significant anxiety in an Asperger syndrome population is feasible and likely to be efficacious.
Using a randomised assessor-blind trial, 52 individuals with Asperger syndrome were randomised into a treatment arm or a waiting-list control arm. After 24 weeks, those in the waiting-list control arm received treatment, while those initially randomised to treatment were followed up for 24 weeks.
The conversion rate for this trial was high (1.6:1), while attrition was 13%. After 24 weeks, there was no significant difference between those randomised to the treatment arm compared with those randomised to the waiting-list control arm on the primary outcome measure, the Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety.
Trials of psychological therapies with this population are feasible. Larger definitive trials are now needed.
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