the science behind brave

We’ve done the
research: CBT
and anxiety

what is cbt?

CBT is regarded as the first line treatment for child and adolescent anxiety disorders.

Studies show that young people can achieve marked reductions in anxiety, and these reductions are maintained over the long term when they participate in CBT. Furthermore, academic research shows that digital CBT can be as effective as face-to-face treatment.

There have been six studies by the BRAVE research team examining the efficacy of the BRAVE Program.

Clinic-based therapy versus partial internet therapy (RCT#1)

In our first study, we compared a combined clinic and internet-based CBT program to the same program delivered entirely in the clinic. We found that children (aged between 7 and 14 years) receiving both the standard clinic treatment and the combined clinic-internet treatment improved significantly following treatment and were more likely to be free of their anxiety diagnoses, compared to children not receiving the treatment program. Improvements were maintained at 12-month follow-up for both therapy conditions, with no significant differences in outcomes between the clinic and internet programs.

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The efficacy of a CBT intervention for child anxiety delivered entirely via the internet (RCT#2)

Our second study evaluated a version of the BRAVE Program delivered entirely via the internet. Following treatment, children receiving BRAVE showed greater improvements in symptoms of anxiety than those not receiving the intervention. By 6 months following the completion of therapy, 75% of children receiving BRAVE were free of their primary anxiety diagnosis and also showed significant improvements in anxiety symptoms, severity, and overall functioning.

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A comparison of an online and clinic-based CBT program for adolescents with anxiety disorders (RCT#3)

Our third study involved the development of a full internet intervention for adolescents (aged 12-17 years). In this study, we found that adolescents receiving BRAVE demonstrated similar improvements in anxiety symptoms and loss of diagnosis compared to adolescents receiving individual, face-to-face therapy, with almost 80% being free of their primary anxiety problem 12-months following the completion of the program.

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A parent-only, internet-based intervention for preschool anxiety (RCT#4)

This study investigated the use of BRAVE as a therapist assisted program for parents of pre-schoolers (aged 3-6 years) with anxiety disorders. Children whose parents completed the program showed significant improvements in anxiety symptoms and overall functioning, as well as a reduction in symptom severity compared to children whose parents did not complete the program. Over 70% of children whose parents completed BRAVE were free of their anxiety problem 6-months after completing the program.

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Large-Scale Dissemination of Internet-Based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Youth Anxiety: Feasibility and Acceptability Study (Open Trial).

This study examined the effects of BRAVE when it was offered on a fully self-help basis in a national program across Australia. At the time of publication of this paper, over 4,400 anxious children and adolescents had signed up for the BRAVE Self Help Program, showing that it was certainly feasible to offer the program on a large-scale basis. Those young people who completed the three or more sessions showed significant reductions in anxiety, with the improvements being greater for those who completed 6 or more sessions. The feedback from participants was positive and the program was acceptable to most young people.

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Efficacy of an internet-based CBT program for children with comorbid High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder and anxiety: A randomised controlled trial (RCT#5)

 In this study, we found that BRAVE may be useful in reducing anxiety symptoms in children with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (HFASD).

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backed by research

The clinical evidence demonstrates that:

  • Young people who complete 3 or more sessions of BRAVE show significant reductions in anxiety.
  • 70% of clinically anxious young people who start BRAVE are free of their diagnosis when they complete the full program.
  • Regardless of how many sessions completed, young people show significant anxiety reduction after using the BRAVE program.

Is BRAVE for you? Find out how it works