Last updated on May 2018

Treatment for Comorbid Social Anxiety and Alcohol Use Disorders.


Brief description of study

Alcohol use disorders (AUD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD) are highly comorbid and associated with significant impairment. Social anxiety comorbidity is associated with poorer addiction treatment engagement and outcomes. Thus, addressing underlying SAD symptoms that may lead to and maintain alcohol problems, as well as undermine successful treatment for AUD, is warranted. This proposal aims to develop and evaluate a fully integrated outpatient program for comorbid SAD and AUD that weaves evidence-based treatment for SAD (i.e., exposure-based cognitive behavioral therapy) into a traditional, evidence-based treatment for AUD.

First, the investigators will develop the protocol for the fully integrated treatment (FIT). The overarching goal of FIT will be to simultaneously deliver AUD and SAD treatment. Development will be an iterative process guided by previous research (including our own), and by input from clinicians, administrators, and patients in an outpatient substance use disorder treatment clinic. After the protocol is developed, the investigators will use their established clinician training procedures to train clinicians at their community partnered clinic to competently deliver the intervention. After protocol development and clinician training, the investigators will conduct a pilot randomized clinical trial (RCT) comparing the efficacy of our fully integrated treatment (FIT) for comorbid alcohol use and social anxiety disorders to usual care (UC) in the community substance use disorder specialty clinic. The goals of the RCT will be to gather data regarding acceptability, feasibility, and preliminary efficacy of the FIT protocol. The investigators will randomize treatment-seeking participants (N = 60) who have comorbid SAD and AUD. The investigators will assess treatment engagement, social anxiety outcomes, and alcohol use outcomes at baseline, 3-months, and 6-months from baseline. The investigators will also gather qualitative and quantitative acceptability data from patients after completing FIT, which may guide final refinements of FIT prior to testing in a larger-scale grant.

The knowledge gained from this investigation has the potential to significantly improve the treatment of alcohol use disorders and make a significant public health impact. The focus on direct translation to community practice paradigms and the emphasis on full mental health and addiction treatment integration significantly advance the field.

Detailed Study Description

In this study, potential participants will be screened either by University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) staff or at the Matrix Institute on Addiction to determine whether they may have social anxiety and alcohol use disorder symptoms. If they screen positive for these symptoms, they will be invited to come in for a comprehensive baseline assessment consisting of interviews, questionnaires, and a behavioral assessment. Eligible participants will be randomly assigned to either receive standard Matrix treatment consisting of a 9-hour per week Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) lasting approximate 2-3 months; or FIT, an Intensive Outpatient Program (also 9 hours per week for approximately 2-3 months) consisting of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for social anxiety disorder that is woven into the alcohol recovery program. After treatment, participants will complete another assessment, and then will complete one several months later.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03428490

Contact Investigators or Research Sites near you

Start Over

Janice Stimson, Psy.D.

Matrix Institute on Addictions
Los Angeles, CA United States
  Connect »