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Pharmacotherapy for social anxiety disorder (SAnD)

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, October 2017
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (79th percentile)
  • Average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source

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9 tweeters
2 Facebook pages
1 Wikipedia page


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130 Mendeley
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Pharmacotherapy for social anxiety disorder (SAnD)
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, October 2017
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd001206.pub3
Pubmed ID

Taryn Williams, Coenie J Hattingh, Catherine M Kariuki, Sean A Tromp, Anton J van Balkom, Jonathan C Ipser, Dan J Stein


Recognition is growing that social anxiety disorder (SAnD) is a chronic and disabling disorder, and data from early trials demonstrate that medication may be effective in its treatment. This systematic review is an update of an earlier review of pharmacotherapy of SAnD. To assess the effects of pharmacotherapy for social anxiety disorder in adults and identify which factors (methodological or clinical) predict response to treatment. We searched the Cochrane Common Mental Disorders Controlled Trials Register (CCMDCTR-Studies and CCMDCTR-References) to 17 August 2015. The CCMDCTR contains reports of relevant RCTs from MEDLINE (1950-), Embase (1974-), PsycINFO (1967-) and CENTRAL (all years). We scanned the reference lists of articles for additional studies. We updated the search in August 2017 and placed additional studies in Awaiting Classification, these will be incorporated in the next version of the review, as appropriate. We restricted studies to randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of pharmacotherapy versus placebo in the treatment of SAnD in adults. Two authors (TW and JI) assessed trials for eligibility and inclusion for this review update. We extracted descriptive, methodological and outcome information from each trial, contacting investigators for missing information where necessary. We calculated summary statistics for continuous and dichotomous variables (if provided) and undertook subgroup and sensitivity analyses. We included 66 RCTs in the review (> 24 weeks; 11,597 participants; age range 18 to 70 years) and 63 in the meta-analysis. For the primary outcome of treatment response, we found very low-quality evidence of treatment response for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) compared with placebo (number of studies (k) = 24, risk ratio (RR) 1.65; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.48 to 1.85, N = 4984). On this outcome there was also evidence of benefit for monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) (k = 4, RR 2.36; 95% CI 1.48 to 3.75, N = 235), reversible inhibitors of monoamine oxidase A (RIMAs) (k = 8, RR 1.83; 95% CI 1.32 to 2.55, N = 1270), and the benzodiazepines (k = 2, RR 4.03; 95% CI 2.45 to 6.65, N = 132), although the evidence was low quality. We also found clinical response for the anticonvulsants with gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) analogues (k = 3, RR 1.60; 95% CI 1.16 to 2.20, N = 532; moderate-quality evidence). The SSRIs were the only medication proving effective in reducing relapse based on moderate-quality evidence. We assessed tolerability of SSRIs and the serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) venlafaxine on the basis of treatment withdrawal; this was higher for medication than placebo (SSRIs: k = 24, RR 2.59; 95% CI 1.97 to 3.39, N = 5131, low-quality evidence; venlafaxine: k = 4, RR 3.23; 95% CI 2.15 to 4.86, N = 1213, moderate-quality evidence), but there were low absolute rates of withdrawal for both these medications classes compared to placebo. We did not find evidence of a benefit for the rest of the medications compared to placebo.For the secondary outcome of SAnD symptom severity, there was benefit for the SSRIs, the SNRI venlafaxine, MAOIs, RIMAs, benzodiazepines, the antipsychotic olanzapine, and the noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressant (NaSSA) atomoxetine in the reduction of SAnD symptoms, but most of the evidence was of very low quality. Treatment with SSRIs and RIMAs was also associated with a reduction in depression symptoms. The SSRIs were the only medication class that demonstrated evidence of reduction in disability across a number of domains.We observed a response to long-term treatment with medication for the SSRIs (low-quality evidence), for the MAOIs (very low-quality evidence) and for the RIMAs (moderate-quality evidence). We found evidence of treatment efficacy for the SSRIs, but it is based on very low- to moderate-quality evidence. Tolerability of SSRIs was lower than placebo, but absolute withdrawal rates were low.While a small number of trials did report treatment efficacy for benzodiazepines, anticonvulsants, MAOIs, and RIMAs, readers should consider this finding in the context of potential for abuse or unfavourable side effects.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 9 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 130 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 130 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Unspecified 32 25%
Student > Bachelor 25 19%
Student > Master 18 14%
Researcher 16 12%
Student > Ph. D. Student 12 9%
Other 27 21%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Unspecified 45 35%
Medicine and Dentistry 40 31%
Psychology 17 13%
Nursing and Health Professions 13 10%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 5 4%
Other 10 8%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 8. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 08 July 2019.
All research outputs
of 13,338,169 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 10,557 outputs
Outputs of similar age
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Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 257 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 13,338,169 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 85th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 10,557 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 20.8. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 55% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 311,605 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 79% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 257 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 43rd percentile – i.e., 43% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.