The OCD Project: Educational or Sensational?

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Abstract

Ninety-two young adults were randomly assigned to watch two episodes of The OCD Project, a reality television program depicting the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder using exposure therapy, or two episodes of another reality television program (Big Brother). Participants in The OCD Project condition (n = 35) endorsed significantly fewer negative beliefs about exposure therapy than participants in the Big Brother condition (n = 42). Participants' obsessivecompulsive disorder symptoms did not moderate the beneficial effects of watching The OCD Project. These results provide preliminary evidence that reality television programs can have a modest psychoeducational benefit and might be used to change attitudes about mental health problems and their treatment.

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