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Adjunctive cognitive behavioural therapy improves response in children with OCD and partial response to serotonin reuptake inhibitors

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What are the effects of adding cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), brief CBT or instructions in CBT in children with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and a partial response to serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRI)?


124 paediatric outpatients between the ages of 7 and 17 with a primary DSM-IV diagnosis of OCD, and residual symptoms (Children's Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (CY-BOCS) score of ≥16), and were defined as having a partial response to an adequate SRI trial by a study psychiatrist.


Three US academic medical centres (University of Pennsylvania, Duke University and Brown University); from 2004 to 2009.


Adjunctive CBT or instructions in CBT or no adjunctive treatment over 12 weeks. All participants received medication management, which included maintenance treatment with SRIs. CBT included 14 h-long sessions. Instructions in CBT introduced the procedures of CBT in seven 45 min sessions, and was designed for time-limited applications where psychologists expert in CBT for OCD were not available.


Response (reduction of ≥30% in CY-BOCS score from baseline to week 12). Secondary …

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  • Sources of funding National Institute of Mental Health.


  • Competing interests None.