Randomized controlled trial of parent-enhanced CBT compared with individual CBT for obsessive-compulsive disorder in young people

Shirley A. Reynolds, Sarah Clark, Holly Smith, Peter E. Langdon, Ruth Payne, Gemma Bowers, Elisabeth Norton, Harriet McIlwham

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in young people can be effectively treated with Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). Practice guidelines in the United Kingdom recommend that CBT be delivered with parental or family involvement; however, there is no evidence from randomized trials that this enhances effectiveness. The aim of this trial was to assess if CBT with high parental involvement was more effective than CBT with low parental involvement (individual CBT) in reducing symptoms of OCD. Method: Fifty young people ages 12–17 years with OCD were randomly allocated to individual CBT or parent-enhanced CBT. In parent-enhanced CBT parents attended all treatment sessions; in individual CBT, parents attended only Sessions 1, 7, and the final session. Participants received up to 14 sessions of CBT. Data were analyzed using intent-to-treat and per-protocol methods. The primary outcome measure was the Children’s Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsion Scale (Scahill et al., 1997). Results: Both forms of CBT significantly reduced symptoms of OCD and anxiety. Change in OCD symptoms was maintained at 6 months. Per-protocol analysis suggested that parent-enhanced CBT may be associated with significantly larger reductions in anxiety symptoms. Conclusions: High and low parental involvement in CBT for OCD in young people were both effective, and there was no evidence that 1 method of delivery was superior on the primary outcome measure. However, this study was small. Future trials should be adequately powered and examine interactions with the age of the young person and comorbid anxiety disorders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1021–1026
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

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