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Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Advisor

Dr. Watkins

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to review the treatment of anxiety disorders in children and adolescents and compare the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions with cognitive behavioral therapy. A PubMed literature search was conducted with search terms children, adolescents, mindfulness, anxiety, MBCT, MBSR, RCT, and CBT. Fifty relevant articles were retrieved and serve as the basis for this clinical review. Evidence-based research demonstrates the positive correlation of mindfulness-based interventions in the treatment of anxiety disorders in youth as compared with cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been well established in the efficacy of treating anxiety disorders. However, studies of mindfulness-based interventions are limited. Mindfulness-based interventions are useful adjuncts to behavioral and medical interventions to manage a range of symptoms, including psychological and physical responses to stress, anxiety, depression, and disruptive behavior. Mindfulness techniques, such as meditation can be taught to improve the well-being of children and adolescents. Specifically, youth with increased risk for significant stress may benefit from mindfulness-based interventions. A growing number of studies and clinical experience suggest that incorporating mindfulness interventions will allow clinicians to more effectively treat children and adolescents with anxiety disorders in coping optimally with a range of challenging symptoms. Further research is needed to establish evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of anxiety in youth based on the positive correlation between mindfulness-based interventions and stress-reduction.

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