Recommendation ID
The role of parents in the treatment of children and young people with social anxiety disorder:- What is the best way of involving parents in the treatment of children and young people (at different stages of development) with social anxiety disorder?
Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)
Why this is important:- There is very little evidence to guide the treatment of social anxiety disorder in children aged under 7 years. It is likely that treatment will be most effectively delivered either wholly or partly by parents. Parenting interventions have been effective in treating other psychological difficulties in this age group, and this guideline found emerging evidence that these approaches might be useful for the treatment of young socially anxious children.
Furthermore, when considering all age groups, parental mental health difficulties and parenting practices have been linked with the development and maintenance of social anxiety disorder in children and young people. This suggests that interventions targeting these parental factors may improve treatment outcomes. However, interventions for children and young people with social anxiety disorder have varied widely in the extent and manner in which parents are involved in treatment and the benefit of including parents in interventions has not been established. This question should be addressed in 2 stages.
Parent-focused interventions should be developed based on a systematic review of the literature and in collaboration with service users. The clinical and cost effectiveness of these interventions at different stages of development should be tested using an RCT design with standard care (for example, group CBT) as the comparison. It should report short- and medium-term outcomes (including cost effectiveness) with a follow-up of at least 12 months. The outcomes should be assessed by structured clinical interviews, parent- and self-reports using validated questionnaires and objective measures of behaviour. The study needs to be large enough to determine the presence of clinically important effects, and mediators and moderators (in particular the child or young person's age) should be investigated.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Social anxiety disorder: recognition, assessment and treatment
Date issued
May 2013

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No  
Last Reviewed 13/06/2013