Key priorities for implementation

The following recommendations have been identified as priorities for implementation.

General principles of care in mental health and general medical settings

Improving access to services

  • When a person with social anxiety disorder is first offered an appointment, in particular in specialist services, provide clear information in a letter about:

    • where to go on arrival and where they can wait (offer the use of a private waiting area or the option to wait elsewhere, for example outside the service's premises)

    • location of facilities available at the service (for example, the car park and toilets)

    • what will happen and what will not happen during assessment and treatment.

      When the person arrives for the appointment, offer to meet or alert them (for example, by text message) when their appointment is about to begin.

Identification and assessment of adults

Identification of adults with possible social anxiety disorder

Interventions for adults with social anxiety disorder

Treatment principles

  • All interventions for adults with social anxiety disorder should be delivered by competent practitioners. Psychological interventions should be based on the relevant treatment manual(s), which should guide the structure and duration of the intervention. Practitioners should consider using competence frameworks developed from the relevant treatment manual(s) and for all interventions should:

    • receive regular, high-quality outcome-informed supervision

    • use routine sessional outcome measures (for example, the Social Phobia Inventory or the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale) and ensure that the person with social anxiety is involved in reviewing the efficacy of the treatment

    • engage in monitoring and evaluation of treatment adherence and practitioner competence – for example, by using video and audio tapes, and external audit and scrutiny if appropriate.

Initial treatment options for adults with social anxiety disorder

Interventions for children and young people with social anxiety disorder

Treatment for children and young people with social anxiety disorder

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)