Investigators report effects of internet based treatment on obsessive symptoms

A group of German investigators reports on the affects of internet based treatment on obsessive symptoms in the current issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.

Many patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) do not receive first-line treatment according to the current guidelines (cognitive behavioral therapy with exposure and response prevention, CBT with ERP) due to barriers to treatment. Internet-based therapy is designed to overcome these barriers.

Thirty-four volunteers with OCD according to DSM-IV-criteria were included in the trial and randomized according to a waiting-list control design with follow-up measures at 8 weeks and 6 months. The intervention consisted of 14 sessions, either starting directly after randomization or with an 8-week delay.

Main outcome measure was the change in the severity of OCD symptoms (Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale Self-Rating, Y-BOCS SR, and Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory-Revised, OCI-R).

At post-treatment, obsessive-compulsive symptoms significantly improved in the treatment group compared to the waiting-list control group with large effect sizes of Cohen's d = 0.82 (Y-BOCS SR) and d = 0.87 (OCI-R), using an intention-to-treat analysis. This effect remained stable at 6-month follow-up. Only 4 participants (12%) dropped out prematurely from the study.

Of the 30 completers, 90% rated their condition as improved and would recommend the program to their friends. According to these results,  Internet-based writing therapy led to a significant improvement of obsessive-compulsive symptoms.

Even though replications with larger sample sizes are needed, the results support the notion that Internet-based approaches have the potential for improving the treatment situation for patients with OCD.

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News-Medical.Net.
Post a new comment
Post