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01-08-2015 | Original Article | Uitgave 4/2015

Cognitive Therapy and Research 4/2015

Preliminary Evidence for the Enhancement of Self-Conducted Exposures for OCD Using Cognitive Bias Modification

Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 4/2015
Nader Amir, Jennie M. Kuckertz, Sadia Najmi, Sara L. Conley


Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is the most effective treatment for OCD but it is not accessible to most patients. Attempts to increase the accessibility of ERP via self-directed ERP (sERP) programs such as computerized delivery and bibliotherapy have met with noncompliance, presumably because patients find the exposure exercises unacceptable. Previous research suggests that Cognitive Bias Modification (CBM) interventions may help individuals approach feared situations. The goal of the current study was to test the efficacy of a treatment program for OCD that integrates sERP with CBM. Twenty-two individuals meeting diagnostic criteria for OCD enrolled in our 7-week treatment program. Results suggest that sERP with CBM led to significant reduction of OCD symptoms and functional impairment. Indeed, the magnitude of the effect of this novel treatment, that requires only an initial session with a clinician trained in ERP for OCD, was comparable to that of the gold standard clinician-administered ERP. Moreover, preliminary evidence suggests that CBM interventions targeting interpretation bias may be most effective, whereas those targeting attention and working memory bias may not be so.

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