Group and Individual Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Using Cognitive Therapy and Exposure Plus Response Prevention: A 2-Year Follow-Up of Two Randomized Trials

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Relatively little is known about the long-term durability of group treatments for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and contemporary cognitive treatments. The current study investigated the 2-year follow-up results for participants who completed randomized trials of group or individual treatment and received either cognitive therapy (CT) or exposure plus response prevention (ERP). Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (YBOCS) scores for individual ERP and CT were not significantly different over 2 years. However, YBOCS scores were consistently lower over time for group ERP participants than for group CT participants. With a single exception in the group treatment study, secondary cognitive and depression scores were stable, indicating that gains achieved during acute treatment were maintained over 2 years. Less than 10% of treatment completers relapsed in each of the treatment trials. Approximately 50% of the completer sample was rated as recovered at 2 years. Additionally, a tentative cross-study comparison suggests that CT was better tolerated and resulted in less dropout than did ERP. Despite the overall positive results, efficacy of OCD treatments has reached a plateau and may require a fresh perspective to move forward.

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