To test the hypothesis that the Integrated Behavior Therapy for Children with Selective Mutism (IBTSM), administered in a naturalistic setting, is (a) a feasible and acceptable treatment, (b) effective in reducing children’s selective mutism (SM) and social anxiety (SA) symptoms, and (c) effective in reducing parents’ accommodation behaviors to their children’s anxiety. This was an open, uncontrolled trial with assessments at baseline, first session, and post-treatment. The study treated 30 children aged 4–13, using the IBTSM protocol. The diagnosis of SM was established by psychologists using a structured interview. The parents reported levels of SM, SA, and parental accommodation on questionnaires, and the level of children’s global functioning was rated by clinicians. Feasibility and acceptability of the IBTSM were assessed using dropout rates, protocol adherence, adverse events, and therapist’s acceptability ratings. The IBTSM had acceptable dropout rates, with no adverse events and high acceptability rates. Following IBTSM, children’s SM and SA levels, and parents’ accommodation, significantly decreased. 75% of children were rated by clinicians as treatment responders. IBTSM is a feasible, acceptable, and efficacious treatment for children with SM, utilized in clinical settings. The results of this open trial must be replicated in randomized controlled studies.
- Integrated Behavior Therapy for Children with Selective Mutism
- Selective mutism
- family accommodation
- social anxiety
- treatment efficacy