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Cogn Behav Ther. 2015;44(2):142-52. doi: 10.1080/16506073.2014.981758. Epub 2014 Nov 24.

Competitive Memory Training (COMET) for OCD: a self-treatment approach to obsessions.

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a Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy , University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf , Martinistr. 52, 20246 Hamburg , Germany.


Competitive Memory Training (COMET) is a cognitive intervention that aims to change the maladaptive cognitive-emotional networks underlying obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). COMET has not been previously tried as a self-help intervention. The present study tested the preliminary feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of COMET for OCD implemented as a self-help intervention. Sixty-five participants with OCD recruited through online OCD self-help fora completed an online baseline assessment including measures of OCD symptoms, self-esteem, and depression. Participants were randomly assigned to either COMET or a wait-list control group. All participants were approached 4 weeks later to complete an online post-assessment. There was no evidence for a greater decline of OCD symptoms or depression under COMET. When analyses were limited to only those participants who reported reading the entire manual at least once, self-esteem was higher at post-assessment in the COMET group. Although 78.1% of patients in the COMET group rated it as appropriate for self-administration, only 56.5% performed COMET exercises regularly and 26.4% read the entire manual at least once. The feasibility and effectiveness of COMET as a self-help internet intervention for OCD was not supported in this study. Further work is needed to better understand if modifications to our implementation of COMET may yield improved outcomes.


cognitive therapy; obsessions; obsessive-compulsive disorder; self-esteem; self-help

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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