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P02.74. Treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) using a self-care model of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) therapy


To investigate the effectiveness of a pilot program using a CAM multi-therapy treatment program focusing on self-care behaviors for the treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).


This is a quasi-experimental one-group pretest-posttest design using a convenience sample of volunteers at a military treatment facility in the Pacific Northwest. Participants (N=37) were enrolled if they had a documented history of GAD or met screening criteria for GAD using the GAD-7, with 68% completing the program (N=25). Participants received acupuncture treatments one time/week for six weeks and were asked to engage in yogic breathing exercises, self and/or partner assisted massage therapy using scented oils, episodic journaling, nutrition counseling, and exercise.


Significant reductions were identified on pre and post GAD-7, Depression-Anxiety-Stress Scale-21, UCLA Loneliness Scale, and a significant increase was noted in the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale. In addition patient behavior (participation in study therapies) remained consistently high and a secondary outcome was reduction in anti-anxiety medication use.


The findings in this pilot study suggest multimodal interventions to facilitate self-care is feasible and that a multi-therapy treatment program using CAM therapy, focusing on self-care behaviors may be an effective adjunct therapy for the treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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McPherson, F., McGraw, L. P02.74. Treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) using a self-care model of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) therapy. BMC Complement Altern Med 12 (Suppl 1), P130 (2012).

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  • Generalize Anxiety Disorder
  • Acupuncture Treatment
  • Massage Therapy
  • Loneliness Scale
  • Effective Adjunct