Is it time to rethink standard dosage of exposure-based cognitive behavioral therapy for pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder?Psychiatry Res 2019; 281:112600PR
Identifying factors associated with early treatment response is important, because it can help allocate limited resources in psychiatric care more appropriately. This study examined baseline characteristics of participants with early response to exposure-based cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
269 participants with OCD, aged 7-17 years, were enrolled in a 14-weeks CBT program. We identified participants with early response to treatment, (CY-BOCS total score of ≤15), by the seventh session.
At week 7, 248 (92.2%) participants were assessed, 38.3% (95% CI 32.4-44.5%, n = 95) were identified as treatment responders. Univariate analyses showed that six baseline characteristics were significantly associated with early treatment response: young age, lower levels of symptom severity, functional impairment, internalizing- and externalizing problems, depressive symptoms, and family accommodation.
These results suggested that treatment plans for younger children with moderate OCD symptoms and no major comorbid disorder should include briefer and less resource demanding treatment formats than the commonly recommended and applied standard doses of 15 CBT sessions.