Behavior Therapy Augments Response of Patients With Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Responding to Drug Treatment
J Clin Psychiatry 2005;66(9):1169-1175
© Copyright 2015 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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Objective: In many patients with
obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), residual
symptoms persist despite a clinically meaningful
response. The objective of this study was to
examine whether addition of behavior therapy would
augment treatment outcome in these patients.
Method: Ninety-six patients with
DSM-IV OCD who had responded to 3 months of drug treatment were randomly assigned to either
receive addition of behavior therapy or continue
on drug treatment alone for 6 months. Patients who continued on drug treatment alone eventually
received addition of behavior therapy for 6
months. Data were gathered from October 1998 to
Results: OCD patients who received
addition of behavior therapy showed a greater
improvement in obsessive-compulsive symptoms (Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale
[Y-BOCS] score change = -3.9 in the completers
sample) than those who continued on drug treatment
alone (Y-BOCS score change = +3.9 for completers). Significantly more patients who received
addition of behavior therapy were in remission
compared with those who continued on drug treatment
alone (p < .0001 for completers). Patients who
received behavior therapy after 6 months of drug
treatment alone showed a nonsignificant decline in
obsessive-compulsive symptoms (Y-BOCS score change = -2.7 for completers); however, the
remission rate found in this group was comparable to the remission rate found in the group of
patients receiving addition of behavior therapy directly after responding to drug treatment.
Conclusion: The results indicate that
addition of behavior therapy is beneficial for patients
who have responded to drug treatment. The data
also suggest that the effect is greater when
behavior therapy is added immediately after attainment
of the drug response.