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EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATION OF TARGETING RESPONSIBILITY VERSUS DANGER IN COGNITIVE THERAPY OF OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER

Authors

  • Sjoertje P. F. Vos,

    Corresponding author
    • Department of Clinical Psychological Science, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
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  • Marcus J. H. Huibers,

  • Arnoud Arntz


  • Conflict of interest: none.

  • Contributors: The study was designed by AA, MH, and AA obtained funding for the study. SV undertook the statistical analyses and drafted the manuscript. All authors contributed to the writing of the manuscript and approved the final manuscript.

  • The authors disclose the following financial relationships within the past 3 years: Contract grant sponsor: Academic Community Mental Health Centre in Maastricht

Correspondence to: Sjoertje Vos, Department of Clinical Psychological Science, Maastricht University, PO Box 616, NL-6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands. E-mail: Sjoertje.vos@maastrichtuniversity.nl

Abstract

Background

Cognitive therapy (CT) for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has shown to be effective in diminishing OCD symptoms, but there is little known about the individual contributions of the specific treatment targets to CTtreatment outcome. Two of the treatment targets of CTare overestimations of danger and inflated beliefs of personal responsibility. No studies to date have investigated the relative efficacy of targeting inflated beliefs of personal responsibility compared to the overestimation of danger in the treatment of OCD. The aim of the present study was to experimentally investigate the relative efficacy of targeting inflated beliefs of responsibility (CT-R) versus targeting overestimations of danger (CT-D) in the cognitive treatment of DSM-III/DSM-IV OCDwith overt compulsions.

Methods

We conducted a randomized trial of CT-D (N = 38) versus CT-R (N = 40). Outcomes were change in OCDsymptoms and behavior, cognitions, and general psychopathology.

Results

The results showed that patients in both conditions improved significantly on all measures. Overall improvement effect sizes were large, percentages of clinically improved patients moderate. No differences between conditions were found.

Conclusions

These initial results suggest that both treatment targets are of value to the cognitive treatment of OCD.

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