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Cogn Behav Ther. 2008;37(1):38-49. doi: 10.1080/16506070701743252.

Adding motivational interviewing to exposure and ritual prevention for obsessive-compulsive disorder: an open pilot trial.

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Anxiety Disorders Clinic, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, USA.


Exposure and ritual prevention (EX/RP) is an efficacious treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), but high dropout rates and variable treatment adherence limit its effectiveness. Motivational interviewing (MI) has shown promise as an adjunct to symptom-focused treatments for improving treatment adherence and outcomes. The authors developed a manual integrating MI with EX/RP, consisting of three information-gathering/motivational enhancement sessions and 15 EX/RP sessions with an optional MI module to be used as needed. Six patients with moderate to severe OCD symptoms (Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale [Y-BOCS] score> or =16) underwent treatment. Five showed a decrease in their baseline Y-BOCS scores and an increase in their quality of life, with three achieving an excellent response (i.e. Y-BOCS< or =12 at Session 18). The authors briefly describe the motivational strategies used in the six cases and suggest that integrating MI with standard EX/RP is a promising method to increase and sustain patient engagement with EX/RP. Challenges in combining these treatments and maintaining the integrity of each as well as limitations of the study are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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