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Cogn Behav Ther. 2005;34(3):148-63.

Evaluation of an inference-based approach to treating obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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Centre de Recherche Fernand-Seguin, Montréal, Canada.


This study evaluated an inference-based approach (IBA) to the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) by comparing its efficacy with a treatment based on the cognitive appraisal model (CAM) and exposure and response prevention (ERP). IBA considers initial intrusions in OCD (e.g. "Maybe the door is open", "My hands could be dirty") as idiosyncratic inferences about possible states of affairs arrived at through inductive reasoning. In IBA such primary inferences represent the starting point of obsessional doubt, and the reasoning maintaining the doubt forms the focus for therapy. This is unlike CAM, which regards appraisals of intrusions as the maintaining factors in OCD. Fifty-four OCD participants, of whom 44 completed, were randomly allocated to CAM, ERP or IBA. After 20 weeks of treatment all groups showed a significant reduction in scores on the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) and the Padua Inventory. Participants with high levels of obsessional conviction showed greater benefit from IBA than CAM. Appraisals of intrusions changed in all treatment conditions. Strength of primary inference was not correlated with symptom measures except in the case of strong obsessional conviction. Strength of primary inference correlated significantly with the Y-BOCS insight item. Treatment matching for high and low conviction levels to IBA and CAM, respectively, may optimize therapy outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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