Conflict of interest statement: No conflicts declared.
Meta-analysis of randomized, controlled treatment trials for pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder
Article first published online: 7 APR 2008
© 2008 The Authors
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Volume 49, Issue 5, pages 489–498, May 2008
How to Cite
Watson, H. J. and Rees, C. S. (2008), Meta-analysis of randomized, controlled treatment trials for pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 49: 489–498. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2007.01875.x
- Issue published online: 7 APR 2008
- Article first published online: 7 APR 2008
- Manuscript accepted 29 October 2007
- Child/adolescent obsessive-compulsive disorder;
- cognitive-behavioral therapy;
- drug therapy;
Objective: To conduct a meta-analysis on randomized, controlled treatment trials of pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Method: Studies were included if they employed randomized, controlled methodology and treated young people (19 years or under) with OCD. A comprehensive literature search identified 13 RCTs containing 10 pharmacotherapy to control comparisons (N = 1016) and five cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to control comparisons (N = 161).
Results: Random effects modeling yielded statistically significant pooled effect size (ES) estimates for pharmacotherapy (ES = .48, 95% CI = .36 to .61, p < .00001) and CBT (ES = 1.45, 95% CI = .68 to 2.22, p = .002). The results were robust to publication bias.
Conclusions: This is the first meta-analysis of treatment RCTs for pediatric OCD. CBT and pharmacotherapy were the only treatments effective beyond control in alleviating OCD symptoms. CBT showed a greater ES than pharmacotherapy. Previous meta-analyses that included uncontrolled trials exaggerated the efficacy of both treatments.