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Delivering Cbt to Rural Latino Children with Anxiety Disorders: A Qualitative Study

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“Delivering CBT to Rural Latino Children with Anxiety Disorders: A Qualitative Study” is a research paper was written by Denise A. Chavira, Cristina E. Bustos, Maritza S. Garcia, Bernardo Ng and Alvaro Camacho in the Department of Psychology, University of California Los Angeles, Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA and in Sun Valley Research Center, Imperial, CA, USA published online on June 29 2015. I originally wanted to write about the differences in utilizing therapy in first language vs second language with patients/clients suffering from depression and anxiety. I wanted to learn if there was a decrease in symptoms in a shorter period of time of depression and anxiety in patients/clients utilizing their first language or of there is a decrease in symptoms in a longer period of time with depression and anxiety in patients/clients utilizing their first language their native language. My interest in this topic originates from my curiosity about the bilingual phenomena that I observe in my personal life and my clinical work. Also, I am interested because as a bilingual speaker I have noticed that my tone and expressions change when I am speaking Spanish vs. English and I wondered if research had been shown in this area.

I was surprised to learn that there is no research done in this area and I only found essays and dissertations available. I had to change my direction towards learning about the effectiveness between CBT and Latino children with anxiety disorders due to my interest in multiculturalism, bilingualism and CBT. This research explained how rural Latino youth is lacking and few studies have examined the effectiveness of evidence-based treatments for psychiatric disorders in this population. Qualitative methods were used to understand community perspectives about ways to deliver cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) to rural Latino youth with anxiety.

The researchers wanted to examine issues of possibility of types of service delivery (i.e., telephone based, therapist supported bibliotherapy, and self-directed bibliotherapy), with rural Latino children who have anxiety disorders. The research stated how first, “four focus groups were conducted with 28 bilingual Latino mental health providers to examine perceptions of CBT using telephone based, therapist supported bibliotherapy, and bibliotherapy without therapist support. Second, qualitative interviews were conducted with 15 Latino parents from a rural community to better understand attitudes toward CBT, and modes of service delivery.” The findings revealed that parents were mostly positive about psychotherapy, and the core elements of CBT for anxiety. However, both parents and providers emphasized the need for adaptations to address practical and perceived barriers to treatment, such as time, convenience, homework, and literacy. They found that “many parents spoke favorably of a telephone-based approach that could address many of their perceived barriers, while providers were expressed more negative views. As the therapists suggested, the findings of this qualitative studies are important for data-driven treatment development efforts.”

                    In the study, the findings suggest that rural Latino parents are “mostly positive about counseling/psychotherapy interventions and mostly negative about the use of medications as a first-line approach to treat anxiety symptoms in their children. Such findings are consistent with past studies suggesting that parents are more accepting of psychosocial interventions compared to medication and that Latinos and ethnic minorities are less accepting of medications than their non-Latino white counterparts (Chavira et al. 2003; Pescosolido et al. 2007).”

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