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BRAVE program – Help available for children with anxiety


A pioneering University of Queensland (UQ) research project will help children overcome extreme anxiety.

The Kids Coping Team, headed by Sonja March and Professor Sue Spence have developed a new treatment program for childhood anxiety.

According to Psychologist Sonja March, international research shows that anxiety is one of the most common psychological problems found in children and adolescents.

"Around 8-10% of children are affected by anxiety which can have adverse effects on their social, emotional, educational and physical functioning, as well as affecting the family unit," she said.

Children with anxiety may worry about social situations, being away from home or their parents, they may fear specific situations like dogs or the dark, or just seem to worry most of the time.

"Despite the evidence that childhood anxiety can be effectively treated, a large proportion of children who suffer from anxiety never receive treatment. Families are often unable to attend traditional face-to-face therapy due to long travelling distances, high costs and the time commitments associated with therapy."

The BRAVE Program is a 12-session treatment program for children aged between 8 and 12 years, that has shown to be highly effective when completed face-to-face or in combination with some internet sessions.

The current study is unique in that it aims to evaluate a new version of the treatment program, where families can complete the entire treatment program over the internet. This will allow children and parents to complete the program in their own home at their convenience.

Internet therapy for childhood anxiety, if effective, would offer a more cost-effective and easily accessible treatment that will increase the chance of children across Australia getting the help they need.

The cost for the total program is $100 and places are available throughout this year. To be eligible to take part, families must have access to a computer (PC or MAC with virtual PC) and the Internet from their home.

Sonja March | EurekAlert!
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