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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2000 Aug;68(4):594-602.

Effectiveness of exposure and ritual prevention for obsessive-compulsive disorder: randomized compared with nonrandomized samples.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia 19104-3309, USA.


The efficacy of exposure and ritual prevention (EX/RP) for reducing symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has been demonstrated in several randomized controlled trials (RCTs). However, procedures used in these studies to maximize experimental control may have limited their generalizability to typical clinical practice. Treatment outcome data from 110 clinical patients receiving EX/RP on an outpatient fee-for-service basis were compared with findings from 4 RCTs of EX/RP. Adult patients in the clinical sample were not excluded because of treatment history, concomitant pharmacotherapy, psychiatric comorbidity, age, or OCD severity. Clinical patients achieved substantial and clinically meaningful reductions in their OCD and depressive symptoms following EX/RP, which were comparable with those reported in the RCTs. Findings indicate that EX/RP is a potent treatment for OCD, and its benefits are not limited to select patient samples.

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