A brief, cognitive-behavioral, phone-based intervention was employed with an Israeli sample experiencing anticipatory anxiety about potential war-related attacks. In this quasi-experimental controlled pilot study, the cognitive-behavioral therapy intervention (diaphragmatic breathing and a modified cognitive-restructuring technique) was compared with the standard hotline care administered when worried citizens called a mental health emergency hotline in Israel. Individuals (n=32) were administered anxiety and worry measures pre-intervention, post-intervention, and three days post-intervention. The results indicated that anxiety levels decreased for the experimental and control group immediately post-intervention; however, three days later, the levels of anxiety in the CBT group continued to decline, while anxiety levels in the control group reached pre-intervention levels on two of the three outcome measures. These results suggest that CBT can be effectively delivered by paraprofessionals over the phone, which is cost-effective and efficient. Limitations are considered, and implications for treating individuals coping with the threat of terrorism are discussed. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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