Efficacy of Self-Regulatory Strategies in Treating Anxiety

by Deane H. Shapiro, Jr., Ph.D.

ABSTRACT: This research attempts to assess the clinical efficacy of self-regulatory strategies in treating anxiety. Subjects will be drawn from the medical clinic division of the psychiatry outpatient clinic at the V.A. Hospital. These subjects, on anti-anxiety medication, will be randomly assigned to one of four self-regulatory treatment groups: transcendental meditation; Zen meditation, biofeedback, progressive relaxation and a no-contact control group. The treatment groups will be led by nationally recognized experts in each of the respective self-regulatory technique. Dependent variables will include subjective pre-post tests (Speigelberg trait state inventory; Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale Fear Survey Schedule; Rotter Internal External locus of control scale); physiological measures (Gsr repeated measures,heartrate); and patient voluntary reduction in anti-anxiety drugs. Treatment will last three months. There will be a three month and six month follow-up. The results of this study will help determine 1) the treatment of choice between different self-regulatory strategies; 2) the advisability and feasibility of non-pharmacological alternatives for relieving anxiety, and stress and tension.

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