This guidance updates and replaces NICE technology appraisal 51 (published in October 2002).

Recommendations 1.1 and 1.2 have been updated and replaced by NICE guideline CG90 and NICE guidline CG91 (both published in October 2009).

Recommendation 1.3 has also been updated and replaced NICE guideline CG113 (published in January 2011) and by NICE guideline CG159 (published in May 2013).

For the management of panic, please see NICE guideline CG113 (published in January 2011).

For the management of specific phobias and chapter 6 for the management of social anxiety(previously known as ‘social phobia’) please see NICE guideline CG159 (published in May 2013).  

No recommendation about the use of computerised CBT has been made in the social anxiety disorder guideline.

  • Recommendations 1.4 and 1.5 about treating obsessive-compulsive disorder have not changed.
  • Additional funding information for this guidance can be found on the Department of Health website.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guidance represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, health professionals are expected to take this guidance fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients. The application of the recommendations in this guidance is at the discretion of health professionals and their individual patients and do not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to provide the funding required to enable the guidance to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients wish to use it, in accordance with the NHS Constitution. They should do so 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.