This guideline covers recognising, assessing and treating social anxiety disorder (also known as ‘social phobia’) in children and young people (from school age to 17 years) and adults (aged 18 years and older). It aims to improve symptoms, educational, occupational and social functioning, and quality of life in people with social anxiety disorder.

Recommendations

This guideline includes recommendations on:

 Who is it for?

  • Healthcare professionals
  • Improving access to psychological therapies (IAPT) services
  • Commissioners and providers
  • People who work in educational and other settings where healthcare or related interventions may be delivered
  • Children, young people and adults with social anxiety disorder
  • Families and carers of children, young people and adults with social anxiety disorder

Is this guideline up to date?

We checked this guideline in June 2017. We found no new evidence that affects the recommendations in this guideline.

Guideline development process

How we develop NICE guidelines

This guideline updates and replaces the section of NICE technology appraisal guidance 97 (February 2006) that deals with phobia.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.

Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.


Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)