The enhancing effects of testosterone in exposure treatment for social anxiety disorder: a randomized proof-of-concept trial 2017-2021
Date of Archiving2021
Radboud Data Repository
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SW OZ BSI KLP
PI Group Affective Neuroscience
Key wordsTestosterone; Fear; Social anxiety disorder
This dataset contains the analyzed variables for the paper: The enhancing effects of testosterone in exposure treatment for social anxiety disorder: a randomized proof-of-concept trial. For example descriptives of participants, subjective units of distress ratings, during exposure, hormone data and social anxiety symptom ratings.Abstract of paper:Individuals with a social anxiety disorder (SAD) show hypofunctioning of the hypothalamus–pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis, which islinked to social fear and avoidance behavior. As testosterone administration has been shown to facilitate social-approach behaviorin this population, it may enhance the effectiveness of exposure treatment. In this proof-of-concept study, we performed arandomized clinical assay in which 55 women diagnosed with SAD received two exposure therapy sessions. Session 1 wassupplemented with either testosterone (0.50 mg) or placebo. Next, transfer effects of testosterone augmentation on withinsessionsubjective fear responses and SAD symptom severity were assessed during a second, unenhanced exposure session(session 2) and at a 1-month follow-up, respectively. The participants having received testosterone showed a more reactive fearpattern, with higher peaks and steeper reductions in fear levels in session 2. Post-hoc exploration of moderating effects ofendogenous testosterone levels, revealed that this pattern was specific for women with high basal testosterone, both in theaugmented and in the transfer session. In contrast, the participants with low endogenous testosterone showed reduced peak fearlevels throughout session 1, again with transfer to the unenhanced session. Testosterone did not significantly affect self-reportedanxiety. The effects of testosterone supplementation on fear levels show transfer to non-enhanced exposure, with effects beingmodulated by endogenous testosterone. These first preliminary results indicate that testosterone may act on important fearmechanisms during exposure, providing the empirical groundwork for further exploration of multi-session testosterone-enhancedexposure treatment for SAD.