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The role of brief CBT in the treatment of anxiety and depression for young adults at a UK university: a pilot prospective audit study

  • Joanne M. Dickson (a1) and Matthew J. Gullo (a2)


Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) has rarely been offered to students seeking professional psychological help at universities in the UK. Here, we aimed to investigate whether a brief course of CBT would improve anxious and depressive symptoms. Forty-eight student patients received a brief course of CBT at a university National Health Service, Student Health Centre in England. Patients completed weekly self-report measures of anxiety and depression at the commencement of each CBT session. Student patients receiving CBT showed significant decreases in anxiety and depression. These effects remained after controlling for a range of potential covariates (e.g. primary problem, total time in treatment, therapist qualifications). Findings suggest CBT is effective in reducing anxiety and depressive symptoms in a ‘real-world’ university clinic.


Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence: Dr J. M. Dickson, Department of Psychological Sciences, Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L25 3GB, UK (email:


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