Final Research Report

View this project's final research report.

Journal Citations

Article Highlight: As reported in Depression and Anxiety, this study found that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and yoga were both effective at reducing worry and anxiety in older adults, while CBT improved sleep more than yoga. In the study, the research team at Wake Forest University assigned half of the older adults to CBT or yoga by chance; the other half chose between CBT and yoga. These results held regardless of whether the participants chose their treatment or were assigned treatment at random.

Peer-Review Summary

Peer review of PCORI-funded research helps make sure the report presents complete, balanced, and useful information about the research. It also assesses how the project addressed PCORI’s Methodology Standards. During peer review, experts read a draft report of the research and provide comments about the report. These experts may include a scientist focused on the research topic, a specialist in research methods, a patient or caregiver, and a healthcare professional. These reviewers cannot have conflicts of interest with the study.

The peer reviewers point out where the draft report may need revision. For example, they may suggest ways to improve descriptions of the conduct of the study or to clarify the connection between results and conclusions. Sometimes, awardees revise their draft reports twice or more to address all of the reviewers’ comments. 

Peer reviewers commented and the researchers made changes or provided responses. Those comments and responses included the following:

  • The reviewers asked for a clearer explanation for why the researchers chose worry, rather than anxiety as the primary outcome, noting that the report frequently used the terms worry and anxiety interchangeably. The researchers edited the report to consistently use the term moderate to severe worry instead. They explained that they chose to focus on worry rather than generalized anxiety disorder because worry, in and of itself, is linked to a number of negative outcomes for older adults, and because the researchers expected that more older adults in their community would have worry that disrupted their quality of life than would have formally diagnosed anxiety disorder. By focusing on worry, their results would be more widely applicable. Also, practically speaking, worry could be assessed more quickly and easily, and anyone with anxiety disorder would also meet the study’s inclusion criteria.
  • The reviewers pointed out that the goal of the study was to compare the two interventions, cognitive behavioral therapy and yoga, to see which might be better at reducing worry. The reviewers asked the researchers to focus on this comparison rather than focusing on how much each intervention reduced worry in the participants. The researchers revised their report to focus on the comparative question and did not report significance testing results for within-group changes in worry to downplay discussion of these changes over time. The researchers did report on how much change in worry scores would indicate a minimal clinically important difference so that readers could evaluate for themselves whether the changes in worry scores within each intervention were clinically relevant.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures

Project Information

Gretchen A. Brenes, PhD
Suzanne Danhauer, PhD
Wake Forest University Health Sciences
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy versus Yoga for the Treatment of Worry in Anxious Older Adults: A Randomized Preference Trial

Key Dates

July 2016
December 2020

Study Registration Information


Has Results
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Health Conditions Health Conditions These are the broad terms we use to categorize our funded research studies; specific diseases or conditions are included within the appropriate larger category. Note: not all of our funded projects focus on a single disease or condition; some touch on multiple diseases or conditions, research methods, or broader health system interventions. Such projects won’t be listed by a primary disease/condition and so won’t appear if you use this filter tool to find them. View Glossary
Populations Populations PCORI is interested in research that seeks to better understand how different clinical and health system options work for different people. These populations are frequently studied in our portfolio or identified as being of interest by our stakeholders. View Glossary
Intervention Strategy Intervention Strategies PCORI funds comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) studies that compare two or more options or approaches to health care, or that compare different ways of delivering or receiving care. View Glossary
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: March 4, 2022