Anxiety UK response to NICE draft guidelines for social anxiety

Anxiety UK, one of the country’s leading anxiety and disorder charities, has submitted its response to the draft National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines on the treatment of social anxiety disorder.

The proposed guidelines are broadly welcomed by Anxiety UK although they have raised concerns regarding the use of computerised CBT and e-therapy support and hope their comments will help influence the final outcome.

Nicky Lidbetter, Anxiety UK Chief Executive, said: “As one of the leading anxiety and disorders charities it is crucial we contributed to this consultation in order for the NICE panel to be as informed as possible from a user-led organisations’ perspective.

“The draft guidelines addressed many of the key issues and outline some very sensible and pragmatic recommendations regarding the treatment of social anxiety disorders.

“However, we were surprised to see that computerised CBT/e-therapy is not recommended and have suggested this is reconsidered. Our sister organisation Self Help Services (SHS) has many years experience of delivering computerised CBT through its NHS contracts and has seen very good outcomes with this therapy for those experiencing social phobia.

“Additionally, e-therapy when provided through an at home service can often act as an entry point for those with social anxiety and SHS has been successfully delivering e-therapy to support those with mild to moderate forms of social anxiety.

“We look forward to seeing the publication of the final NICE guidelines and working with them to help promote and increase awareness of their deliberations,” Ms Lidbetter added.