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Speeding up treatments for anxiety disorder

Research award Fellows Award programme

Funding period2014 - 2017

InstitutionUniversity of Oxford

LocationUnited Kingdom


Could a one-hour treatment for anxiety be developed to get more people treated, faster? 

The project

Andrea and her team have already had major impact on the treatment of panic disorder (a form of anxiety) by developing a single-session Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) treatment that relieved symptoms for a third of patients. A course of CBT typically takes months.

Building on this, they are now investigating whether a similar approach, combined with a drug originally used to manage blood pressure, could transform treatment for anxiety.

The process

There are two parts to this project, both of which build on previous clinical and lab research.

The first involves refining the single-session CBT treatments, to understand more about why CBT can reduce anxiety and to ensure the rapid treatment is as effective as possible.

And the second is the first major study of whether a blood pressure drug could also be used safely and successfully to treat anxiety. 


The potential

Waiting lists for talking therapies such as CBT are often long, and the treatment typically takes many months to complete.

Developing a way to give people the tools to manage anxiety in a single month – supported by an existing drug used in a new ways – could enable many more people to live a better life, more quickly.

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