Effective Approaches for Adults & Kids with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

A thorough review and meta-analysis from Brazil affirms the usefulness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Certain SSRI Meds for OCD.

Researchers from the Psychiatric Institute of the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro in Brazil performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled trials published in the last decade involving cognitive and/or behavioral treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Findings confirm that exposure and response prevention and cognitive therapy are effective methods for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder in children, adolescents and adults. Among adults, the combined use of serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s) and exposure and response prevention or cognitive therapy was not associated with any additional therapeutic effect.

However, among children, the combination of serotonin-reuptake inhibitors and exposure and response prevention are superior to either treatment alone. Exposure and response prevention associated with cognitive therapy may result in significant benefits to patients with predominant obsessive thoughts and its group modality also reduces obsessive-compulsive symptoms.

The review concludes that cognitive and behavioral therapies have shown to be highly effective psychotherapeutic approaches for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. However, more studies focusing on long-term follow-up, group-treatment and the combined use with serotonin-reuptake inhibitors are needed.

Citation: Prazeres AM, Souza WFM, Fontenelle LF. Cognitive-behavior therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder: a systematic review of the last decade. [Article in Portuguese] Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria. 2007 Sep; 29(3):262-70. Epub 2007 Sep 18.