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Alleviating Specific Phobias Experienced by Children Trial

Background

A specific phobia is a type of anxiety disorder which causes an overwhelming and unbearable fear and avoidance of whatever is causing the fear (e.g. an animal, situation, activity, etc.). It is estimated that between 5% and 10% of children have a specific phobia which impacts on their everyday lives and lasts for an average of about 20 years. Despite this, fewer than 10% report asking for help with their phobia. Specific phobias can cause distress and considerable problems at home and school and interfere with day-to-day activities. The most common treatment for specific phobias in the UK is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), a type of talking therapy that uses different techniques to help people to change unhelpful patterns of thinking around specific phobias. However, CBT usually requires multiple sessions and so it is expensive in terms of time. Additionally, people need to attend several sessions which can result in them not completing them all. A promising alternative to CBT is One Session Treatment (OST). Unlike CBT, OST does not require an extensive treatment period. Instead, a combination of treatment techniques including graduated exposure therapy, participant modelling, reinforcement, psycho-education, cognitive challenges and skills training are consolidated into a single three-hour session. However, OST has not been compared to the routine and most successful treatment for specific phobias, CBT.

The ASPECT Trial

The ASPECT trial has two broad aims; i) to investigate whether OST can have a similar effect on specific phobias as CBT; and ii) to investigate whether OST offers value for money when compared to CBT. ASPECT will recruit children and young people from recruitment sites across England. When recruited, participants will be randomised to receive either standard CBT therapy, or to receive OST. Moreover, psychological interventions are often trialled in optimal conditions that are most favourable to the intervention. That is, they are tested under tight experimental control that allows the researchers to manipulate aspects of the intervention that may not be possible in a real world setting. However, ASPECT aims to conduct a pragmatic trial (i.e. a trial under real conditions within the NHS) in order to investigate whether OST is an effective, economically viable intervention option for use within care provision across the NHS.

Recruitment status

The study is currently open for recruitment in:

  • Humber
  • Leeds
  • Norfolk
  • Northumberland, Tyne and Wear
  • Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber
  • South Tyneside
  • South West Yorkshire
  • Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys

Need more information?

Please visit ASPECTs ISRCTN registration page for more information about the study at http://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN19883421. Alternatively, please contact Dr Alex Scott or Dr Catarina Teige (details below).

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Project Team

Name Role Organisation Contact
Professor Barry Wright Chief Investigator Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust barry.wright1@nhs.net
Professor Cindy Cooper Director, CTRU CTRU, University of Sheffield

c.l.cooper@sheffield.ac.uk

0114 222 0743

Katie Biggs Lead Trial Manager CTRU, University of Sheffield

c.e.biggs@sheffield.ac.uk

0114 222 6128

Catarina Teige Trial Co-ordinator (York) Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust c.teige@nhs.net
Dr Alex Scott Trial Manager (Sheffield) CTRU, University of Sheffield

alex.scott@sheffield.ac.uk

0114 222 0674

Emily Hayward Research Assistant (York & Humber) Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Emily.hayward@nhs.net
Dan Beever Research Assistant (South Yorkshire & South Humber) CTRU, University of Sheffield

d.a.beever@sheffield.ac.uk

0114 222 0820

Joseph Horne Research Assistant (North East & North Cumbria) NIHR CRN: North East and North Cumbria Joseph.Horne@ntw.nhs.uk

Kayte Russell

Research Assistant (Norfolk) Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

Kayte.Russell@nsft.nhs.uk

Catherine Gray

Research Assistant (Norfolk) Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

Catherine.Gray@nsft.nhs.uk

Jessica Welburn Trial Support Officer CTRU, University of Sheffield

j.welburn@sheffield.ac.uk

0114 222 4266

Kirsty Pemberton Data Management CTRU, University of Sheffield

k.j.pemberton@sheffield.ac.uk

0114 222 0861

Dawn Teare Statistician Medical Statistics Group, University of Sheffield

m.d.teare@sheffield.ac.uk

0114 222 6398

Ellen Lee Statistician CTRU, University of Sheffield

e.lee@sheffield.ac.uk

0114 22 20805

Participating Sites

Site Principal Investigator
Humber NHS Foundation Trust Patrick O'Connor
Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust

Dr Katie Glazebrook

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust Dr Jonathan Wilson
Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Lina Gega

Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust 

Dr Adrian Phillipson

South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust Dr Lina Gega
South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Simon Eltringham

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust

Funder

This project is funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment (NIHR HTA) Programme (project number This project is funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment (NIHR HTA) Programme (project number 15/38/04). Any views or opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the HTA programme, NIHR, NHS or the Department of Health.). Any views or opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the HTA programme, NIHR, NHS or the Department of Health.

Sponsor

ASPECT is sponsored by the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Trust.