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Behav Res Ther. 2012 Nov;50(11):661-7. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2012.08.004. Epub 2012 Aug 24.

The Buried in Treasures Workshop: waitlist control trial of facilitated support groups for hoarding.

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Department of Psychology, Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063, USA.


Hoarding is a serious form of psychopathology that has been associated with significant health and safety concerns, as well as the source of social and economic burden (Tolin, Frost, Steketee, & Fitch, 2008; Tolin, Frost, Steketee, Gray, & Fitch, 2008). Recent developments in the treatment of hoarding have met with some success for both individual and group treatments. Nevertheless, the cost and limited accessibility of these treatments leave many hoarding sufferers without options for help. One alternative is support groups that require relatively few resources. Frost, Pekareva-Kochergina, and Maxner (2011) reported significant declines in hoarding symptoms following a non-professionally run 13-week support group (The Buried in Treasures [BIT] Workshop). The BIT Workshop is a highly structured and short term support group. The present study extended these findings by reporting on the results of a waitlist control trial of the BIT Workshop. Significant declines in all hoarding symptom measures were observed compared to a waitlist control. The treatment response rate for the BIT Workshop was similar to that obtained by previous individual and group treatment studies, despite its shorter length and lack of a trained therapist. The BIT Workshop may be an effective adjunct to cognitive behavior therapy for hoarding disorder, or an alternative when cognitive behavior therapy is inaccessible.

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