OBJECTIVE: The authors examined the efficacy of sertraline in the
treatment of social phobia. METHOD: In a double-blind crossover study, 12
outpatients were randomly assigned to 10 weeks of sertraline (50-200
mg/day, flexible dosing) and 10 weeks of placebo. RESULTS: A statistically
significant improvement in scores on the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale was
found with sertraline but not with placebo. There was no significant
difference between scores obtained with computer- and
clinician-administered versions of the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale, and
the majority of patients preferred to be interviewed by the computer.
CONCLUSIONS: Sertraline seems a safe and effective treatment for social
phobia, and computer administration may be a preferable mode of assessment
with socially phobic patients.