Background: Many randomized controlled trials of the pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have been undertaken. Several meta-analyses of these trials, and a number of expert consensus guidelines, have been published. This article summarizes these works, and suggests future research directions.
Methods: Meta-analyses of OCD were assessed with the QUORUM statement and the Oxman and Guyatt rating scale, and consensus guidelines on the treatment of OCD were assessed with the Appraisal of Guidelines Research and Evaluation (AGREE) instrument. Current principles in the treatment of OCD, and gaps in our knowledge, were reviewed.
Results: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and cognitive-behavioral therapy are currently viewed as the first-line treatments of choice for adult and pediatric OCD.There is also good evidence for the efficacy of atypical antipsychotics in the augmentation of patients refractory to SSRIs. Important questions remain for the field.
Conclusions: There have been significant advances in both the pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy of OCD. Nevertheless, there is a paucity of longer-term trials, data on symptom remission and functional improvement, and data on treatment effectiveness in wider clinical practice. It is hoped that improved understanding of the mechanisms underlying OCD will lead to future advances.