A Randomized Clinical Trial of Cognitive-Behavioral Group Therapy and Sertraline in the Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
J Clin Psychiatry 2006;67(7):1133-1139
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group therapy (CBGT) and serotonin reuptake
inhibitors have proven efficacy in reducing symptoms
of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). There is no consensus about which of these forms of
treatment is more effective. This study was
conducted to evaluate the efficacy of CBGT as compared
to that of sertraline in reducing OCD symptoms.
Method: Fifty-six outpatients with an
OCD diagnosis, according to DSM-IV criteria,
participated in the randomized clinical trial: 28 took
100 mg/day of sertraline and 28 underwent CBGT for 12 weeks. Efficacy of treatments was rated
according to the reduction in scores on the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale
(YBOCS) and the Clinical Global Impressions-Severity
of Illness scale. The trial was performed in 4
successive periods from March 2002 to December 2003.
Results: Both treatments were effective,
although patients treated with CBGT obtained a mean YBOCS reduction of symptoms of
44%, while those treated with sertraline obtained only
a 28% reduction (p = .033). Cognitive-behavioral group therapy was also significantly more
effective in reducing the intensity of compulsions (p = .030). Further, 8 patients (32%) treated
with CBGT presented a complete remission of OCD symptoms (YBOCS score < = 8) as compared
to only 1 patient (4%) among those who received sertraline (p = .023).
group therapy and sertraline have shown to be
effective in reducing OCD symptoms. Nevertheless,
the rate of symptom reduction, intensity reduction
of compulsions, and percentage of patients who obtained full remission were significantly higher
in patients treated with CBGT.