An occupation-based group for children with anxiety

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Introduction: Anxiety significantly affects children in middle childhood, impacting on functioning and predicting future mental health problems. Despite this, there is little literature describing occupational therapy for this population. This preliminary study evaluated the acceptability and outcomes of an occupation-based group for children with anxiety aged 10-14 years.

Method: The group employed developmentally appropriate occupations to teach and participate in cognitive, behavioural and functional skills for managing anxiety. The five outcome measures used were the Beck Youth Inventories, Occupational Questionnaire, Child Behaviour Checklist, Health of the Nation Outcome Scales for Children and Adolescents, and Children's Global Assessment Scale. Acceptability was measured by attendance and outcome measures were taken at pre-group and post-group (n = 34). Data were examined using repeated measures t-tests.

Results: All 34 participants completed the intervention, with 87.9% attendance. Parent-rated child anxiety decreased, as did clinician-rated factors inhibiting optimal functional performance, and clinician-rated overall child functioning increased. No significant changes in child-rated measures were reported.

Conclusion: Preliminary findings were that the occupation-based group for children with anxiety aged 10-14 years was an acceptable and beneficial intervention for reducing parent-rated and clinician-rated symptoms of anxiety while increasing functioning.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2013

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at

    Submissions can be made at

    The 2012 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 1.096.

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