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Annu Rev Clin Psychol. 2011;7:229-43. doi: 10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-032210-104533.

Treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder.

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Child/Adolescent OCD, Tics, Trichotillomania and Anxiety Group, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.


Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by the presence of intrusive, anxiety-provoking thoughts, images, or impulses along with repetitive behaviors or mental acts designed to reduce obsessional distress. OCD is associated with significant functional impairment, psychiatric comorbidity, and compromised quality of life. Fortunately, substantive progress has been made in the past several decades in the development and empirical evaluation of treatments for OCD across the developmental spectrum. The current review begins with a discussion of the clinical presentation of OCD and psychological theories regarding its etiology and maintenance. A detailed discussion follows of exposure plus response prevention, the psychosocial treatment that has garnered the most evidence for its efficacy. A summary of the extant treatment outcome literature related to exposure plus response prevention as well as cognitive therapies, pharmacotherapies, and combined approaches is then presented. Recommendations for future clinical and research directions are then provided.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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