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Group cognitive behavioural therapy increases complete remission of obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms compared with sertraline, but not response

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Q What is the efficacy of group cognitive behavioural therapy compared with sertraline for reducing obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms in adults?


Embedded ImageDesign:

Randomised controlled trial.

Embedded ImageAllocation:


Embedded ImageBlinding:

Single blind (assessors blinded).

Embedded ImageFollow up period:

Twelve weeks (treatment period only).

Embedded ImageSetting:

Outpatient setting in Brazil; March 2002 to December 2003.

Embedded ImagePatients:

Fifty six adults (mean 38.5 years) with diagnosed with DSM-IV obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD; Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview – Brazilian version), and a Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (YBOCS) score of ⩾16. Main exclusion criteria: moderate to severe major depression, Beck Depression Inventory score >16, bipolar disorder, severe personality disorder, psychotic disorder, substance related disorder in the previous six months, Tourette’s syndrome, or organic brain disease.

Embedded ImageIntervention:

Group cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT; weekly two-hour group session) or sertraline (50 mg/day in the …

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  • For correspondence: Aristides V Codioli, MD, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Rua Ramiro Barcelos, 2350, Room 400N, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil 90035-903; acordioli{at}

  • Sources of funding: Coordenacao de Aperfeicoamento de Ensino Superior (CAPES), Fundacao de Incentivo a Pesquisa e a Eventos (FIPE) at the Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre, Brazil. Sertraline was provided by Pfizer Inc, Sao Paulo, Brazil.