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Cognitive-behavioral treatment of pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder: an open clinical trial.

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Allegheny University of the Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19129, USA.



The purpose of this open clinical trial was to examine the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral treatment involving exposure and ritual prevention for pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).


Children and adolescents with diagnosed OCD (N = 14) received cognitive-behavioral treatment, seven patients received intensive treatment (mean = 18 sessions over 1 month) and seven received weekly treatment (mean = 16 sessions over 4 months). Eight of these patients received concurrent treatment with serotonin reuptake inhibitors and six received cognitive-behavioral treatment alone. Outcome was assessed via interviewer ratings on the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS), Obsessive Compulsive Rating Scales for Main Fear and Main Ritual, and Hamilton Depression Rating Scale.


Cognitive-behavioral treatment was effective in ameliorating OCD symptoms. Twelve of the 14 patients were at least 50% improved over pretreatment Y-BOCS severity, and the vast majority remained improved at follow-up; mean reduction in Y-BOCS was 67% at posttreatment and 62% at follow-up (mean time to follow-up = 9 months).


Results suggest that cognitive-behavioral treatment by exposure and ritual prevention is effective for pediatric OCD. Controlled studies with random assignment to conditions are warranted to evaluate the relative efficacy of cognitive-behavioral pharmacological, and combined treatments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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