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Trial registered on ANZCTR

Registration number
Ethics application status
Not yet submitted
Date submitted
Date registered
Date last updated
Type of registration
Prospectively registered

Titles & IDs
Public title
A clinical controlled trial of the effectiveness of a psychological treatment program for separation anxiety disorder in adults.
Scientific title
In people with separation anxiety disorder, does the completion of a manualised psychological treatment program, compared to being on a waitlist control group, reduce the severity of separation anxiety symptoms and the level of impairment of the disorder in their day to day lives?
Secondary ID [1] 285616 0
Universal Trial Number (UTN)
Trial acronym
Linked study record

Health condition
Health condition(s) or problem(s) studied:
separation anxiety disorder 293537 0
Condition category
Condition code
Mental Health 293810 293810 0 0

Study type
Description of intervention(s) / exposure
The treatment comprises a new manualised psychological program specifically for separation anxiety disorder in adults. The therapy utilises techniques from cognitive behavioural therapy, attachment-related interventions and positive psychology. Participants in the intervention group will receive 8 weeks of individual treatment with an intern psychologist for one hour per week.
Intervention code [1] 290623 0
Treatment: Other
Comparator / control treatment
A waitlist control group, where participants receive no therapy for 8 weeks, and are tested for changes in severity of disorder or symptoms, prior to being offered treatment in a group setting.
Control group

Primary outcome [1] 293600 0
Change in number and severity of separation anxiety disorder symptoms, as evidenced using the Adult Separation Anxiety Questionnaire (ASA-27), as well as the separation anxiety disorder section of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI).
Timepoint [1] 293600 0
Immediately post-treatment.
Secondary outcome [1] 311446 0
Change in depression and anxiety, as evidenced using the Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scales (DASS-21), and change in ratings of disability in day to day life, as measured using the Sheehan Disability Scale.
Timepoint [1] 311446 0
Immediately post-treatment, and at 6 month follow-up.

Key inclusion criteria
Diagnosis of separation anxiety disorder.
Minimum age
18 Years
Maximum age
70 Years
Both males and females
Can healthy volunteers participate?
Key exclusion criteria
Primary psychiatric diagnosis other than separation anxiety disorder, comorbid personality disorder, high distress requiring urgent intervention.

Study design
Purpose of the study
Allocation to intervention
Randomised controlled trial
Procedure for enrolling a subject and allocating the treatment (allocation concealment procedures)
Allocation to either the treatment or control groups will be done using a computer program to randomly allocate names to one of the two groups. This will take place after each person has been screened to determine if they are eligible to participate in the study.
Methods used to generate the sequence in which subjects will be randomised (sequence generation)
The randomisation of participants to the treatment or control arms of the research will be done using a random number generating sequence in SPSS.
Masking / blinding
Open (masking not used)
Who is / are masked / blinded?

Intervention assignment
Other design features
Not Applicable
Type of endpoint(s)
Statistical methods / analysis
The expected 12-month prevalence rate of separation anxiety disorder in the population is 1.9%, as shown in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication, a population survey of 9282 respondents in the United States (Shear 2006).
The population of Randwick City area aged 18 or over is 76 169 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2011), suggesting an estimated pool of 1447 people in that area with separation anxiety disorder.
We aim to obtain a sample of 80 people with separation anxiety disorder over a period of two years (n = 40 in the treatment group, and n = 40 in the control group), which is feasible given this data.
In order to detect a 30% reduction in symptoms, we would need to be able to achieve an effect size of 0.64.
Johnston et al (2011), in a similar trial of psychological therapy, achieved moderate to large effect sizes ranging from .76 – 1.44 using a sample of 46 people in each of three groups (two treatment and one control group), while investigating the effectiveness of two different methods of administering psychological treatment for anxiety disorders. Thus a sample of 80 people (40 treatment and 40 control) should be sufficient to detect any differences between treatment and control groups with medium (0.5) to large effects.

Recruitment status
Not yet recruiting
Date of first participant enrolment
Date of last participant enrolment
Date of last data collection
Sample size
Accrual to date
Recruitment in Australia
Recruitment state(s)
Recruitment postcode(s) [1] 8926 0
2032 - Kingsford

Funding & Sponsors
Funding source category [1] 290252 0
Self funded/Unfunded
Name [1] 290252 0
Address [1] 290252 0
Country [1] 290252 0
Primary sponsor type
Vijaya Manicavasagar
Black Dog Institute, Hospital Rd, Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick NSW 2032
Secondary sponsor category [1] 288959 0
Name [1] 288959 0
Address [1] 288959 0
Country [1] 288959 0

Ethics approval
Ethics application status
Not yet submitted
Ethics committee name [1] 291951 0
University of New South Wales Human Research Ethics Committee
Ethics committee address [1] 291951 0
UNSW Research Ethics and Compliance Support
Level 3, Rupert Myers Building (South)
The University of New South Wales
Sydney NSW 2052 Australia
Ethics committee country [1] 291951 0
Date submitted for ethics approval [1] 291951 0
Approval date [1] 291951 0
Ethics approval number [1] 291951 0

Brief summary
This project aims to evaluate the efficacy of a manualised psychological treatment for adults with Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD). SAD has only recently been accepted as legitimately occurring during adulthood in the DSM-5. As such, no evidence-based treatments have yet been trialed to address this debilitating condition. We hypothesise that adult subjects diagnosed with SAD who receive 8 sessions of specialized psychological treatment will report lower levels of anxiety, greater symptom improvements, and less impairments in their day-to-day life after treatment, compared to a a group who do not receive the treatment for 8 weeks. Project outcomes will indicate whether this treatment program is useful in reducing symptoms and distress caused by separation anxiety disorder.
Trial website
Trial related presentations / publications
Public notes

Principal investigator
Name 52594 0
A/Prof Vijaya Manicavasagar
Address 52594 0
Black Dog Institute, Hospital Rd, Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick NSW 2032
Country 52594 0
Phone 52594 0
+61 2 9382 4530
Fax 52594 0
+61 2 9382 8208
Email 52594 0
Contact person for public queries
Name 52595 0
A/Prof Vijaya Manicavasagar
Address 52595 0
Black Dog Institute, Hospital Rd, Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick NSW 2032
Country 52595 0
Phone 52595 0
+61 2 9382 4530
Fax 52595 0
+61 2 9382 8208
Email 52595 0
Contact person for scientific queries
Name 52596 0
A/Prof Vijaya Manicavasagar
Address 52596 0
Black Dog Institute, Hospital Rd, Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick NSW 2032
Country 52596 0
Phone 52596 0
+61 2 9382 4530
Fax 52596 0
+61 2 9382 8208
Email 52596 0

No information has been provided regarding IPD availability
Summary results
No Results