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Trial of Sertraline versus CBT for generalised Anxiety (ToSCA)

The following text has been adapted from the protocol for the study

1. What is this research?

Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is common, causes unpleasant feelings and damages people’s lives. It is often chronic and may be accompanied by depression. Recent NICE guidelines have outlined the best initial treatments but it isn’t clear whether medication or psychological therapy provides better outcomes for those not responding to simpler low intensity treatments.

The study compares a medication called Sertraline with intensive Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for people with GAD who have not responded to low intensity psychological treatments. The study has a randomised control trial design.

The study is taking place across the country and participants will be recruited via the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service from up to 15 sites in England. The study is funded by the NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) programme. For more detailed information about the study please click here.

2.     Why is this research important?

Recent NICE guidelines have outlined the best initial treatments for GAD but it isn’t clear whether medication or psychological therapy provides better outcomes for those not responding to simpler low intensity treatments. This study will help us answer this question.

3.  What are we doing?

We coordinate the service user involvement for this study. We run a Lived Experience Advisory Panel (LEAP) of three users for the study. The LEAP provides advice and assistance to the wider study team as needed. To date the LEAP has mainly advised on the outcome measures that are used in the study and on potential recruitment issues. A McPin member of staff is a co-applicant on this study and he sits on the steering group for project.

4.    What is the current status of the project?

The study has recently ended. The trial was suspended because of problems recruiting people to take part. We will be reflecting on this with the whole research team and writing about it in due course so that lessons maybe learnt.

5.     Who do I contact for more information?

You can contact Thomas Kabir by email thomaskabir@mcpin.org or phone 0207 922 7874