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Cognitive Behavioral Tx Beats Relaxation Tx in Childhood OCD

Use of family-based cognitive behavioral tx superior to relaxation therapy for children aged 5 to 8

Cognitive Behavioral Tx Beats Relaxation Tx in Childhood OCD

MONDAY, April 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Family-based (FB) cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is superior to FB relaxation treatment (FB-RT) for young children with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), according to a study published online April 23 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Jennifer Freeman, Ph.D., from Brown University in Providence, R.I., and colleagues conducted a multicenter trial involving 127 pediatric outpatients (aged 5 to 8 years) who received a primary diagnosis of OCD and a Children's Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale total score of 16 or higher. Participants were randomized to 14 weeks of FB-CBT, including exposure plus response prevention, or FB-RT.

The researchers found that FB-CBT was superior to FB-RT on both primary outcome measures (responder status and change in independent evaluator-rated continuous Children's Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale total score). Seventy-two percent of children assigned to FB-CBT and 41 percent of those assigned to FB-RT were rated as 1 (very much improved) or 2 (much improved) on the Clinical Global Impression-Improvement scale at 14 weeks. On the Clinical Global Impression-Improvement scale, the effect size difference between FB-CBT and FB-RT was 0.31, and the number needed to treat with FB-CBT versus FB-RT was estimated to be 3.2.

"A comprehensive FB-CBT program was superior to a relaxation program with a similar format in reducing OCD symptoms and functional impairment in young children (5 to 8 years of age) with OCD," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry; one author disclosed ties to MedAvante.

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