A Comparison of the effectiveness of interpersonal and cognitive behavioral therapies for social anxiety disorder


Tarbiat Modares University


Introduction: The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of cognitive - behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT) for reducing symptoms of social anxiety.Methods: The design of study is pre-test - post-test in which 40 students suffering from social anxiety disorder were selected and randomly assigned to either groups of CBT and IPT. Tools used in this study included the Social Phobia Inventory (SPIN), Social Interaction Anxiety Scale (SIAS), and the Brief Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale, revised version (BFNE-II), and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID). Data was statistically analyzed using multivariate covariance analysis (MANCOVA).Results: Data analysis suggested that there is significant difference between the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy for reducing symptoms of social phobia and social interaction anxiety; In fact, IPT significantly decreased social phobic symptoms and social interaction anxiety in comparison to CBT (respectively p= 0.002, p=0.008). The results also showed that There was no difference between the two psychotherapies in improvement to the fear of negative evaluation (P= 0.71).Conclusions: Interpersonal therapy was significantly more effective than IPT in engendering improvement in patients suffering from social anxiety disorder. This suggests that IPT should be considered the preferred psychotherapeutic treatment for social anxiety disorder.