Simona A. Pascal1, Ioana R. Podina*1, Cătălin Nedelcea2
1 Laboratory of Cognitive Clinical Sciences, Department of Psychology, University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania.
2 Department of Psychology, University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania.
Despite of several meta-analyses indicating that exposure based treatments (EBT) are successful in addressing anxiety and fear symptoms, less is known whether this is also the case for disgust, which also accompanies anxiety disorders. Therefore, the aim of the current meta-analysis was to compare the efficacy of EBT on disgust and anxiety (emotional distress), against control condition. This meta-analysis included a total of eight studies. Overall, there was a medium effect size (g = .57, 95% CI: .26 to .88, p < .001) for emotional distress; a medium effect size for anxiety (g = .79, 95% CI: .24 to 1.34, p = .005), yet a small effect size for disgust (g = .36, 95% CI: .05 to .68, p = .024). These findings prompt that current EBT are not tailored to address disgust symptoms accompanying many forms of anxiety disorders, although literature points more and more to a need in this respect. We also examined potential moderator variables (the year of publication, the number of exposure sessions, age of the sample, and gender composition). Additionally, we discussed several strengths and limitations, one of the most important being the small number of studies regarding the subject and their heterogeneity.
Please cite this article as: Pascal, S. A., Rodina, I. R., & Nedelcea, C. (2020). A META-ANALYSIS ON THE EFFICACY OF EXPOSURE-BASED TREATMENT IN ANXIETY DISORDERS: IMPLICATIONS FOR DISGUST. Journal of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies, 20(2), 31-49.
Keywords: emotional distress, disgust, anxiety disorders, exposure treatment, meta-analysis
Published online: 2020/09/01
Published print: 2020/09/01