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This research reports on a prospective outcome study of two cohorts of patients with severe, chronic, resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
One cohort consisted of a total of 52 patients treated in an inpatient setting, while the second group comprised 65 patients treated in a community-outpatient setting. Treatment consistent primarily of intensive graded exposure and self-imposed response prevention augmented with cognitive restructuring.
The groups demonstrated significant improvement over the course of treatment. In the inpatient and community groups, there was significant improvement over the first 12 weeks of treatment, and further improvement between 12 and 24 weeks.
These results suggest that even for patients who have demonstrated treatment-resistance, there may be benefit in intensive behavioral treatment of OCD. In addition it was found that even for those patients with the most profound refractory OCD and complicating factors inpatient stays of up to 24 weeks were effective in reducing symptoms.
A naturalistic study was conducted to examine the outcome on self-report and observer-rated measures in patients with severe, chronic, resistant obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) admitted to a specialised in-patient unit.
Twenty-six patients were admitted over the study period. The mean age of all patients was 37 years (s.d.=13.8, range 18–61 years) and they had a mean duration of OCD of 18.4 years (s.d.=10.9, range 4–40 years). Instruments measuring severity demonstrated a 37–67% reduction in obsessive–compulsive symptoms and a 64% reduction in depressive symptoms after an average of almost 15 weeks in hospital.
This study demonstrates that specialised in-patient care can benefit a small group of severely ill patients with OCD who fail to respond to treatment in primary and secondary care.
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