Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Covert neutralization in the treatment of OCD with overt compulsions

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Mark FreestonORCiD


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


The objective of the study was to compare two forms of exposure and response prevention for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): one in which response prevention targeted both mental (covert) and behavioral (overt) neutralization; the other in which it targeted only overt neutralization. Treatment lasted 20 weeks in both programs, and OCD symptoms, neutralization, self esteem, quality of life, and psychosocial functioning were measured pre- and post-treatment and at six-month follow-up. Fifty participants (37 completers) were randomly assigned to each condition. Both groups demonstrated significant and equivalent improvement on the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale at post-treatment; and these gains were maintained at six-month follow-up. There were no significant differences between groups on outcome measures at post-treatment or at follow-up. The group that received treatment targeting both overt and covert neutralization reported less need to engage in neutralization behavior at post-treatment. These results suggest that cognitive behavioral treatment can generate significant and lasting change in OCD symptoms without addressing all types of neutralization. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): O'Connor K, Freeston M, Delorme ME, Aardema F, Polman A, Careau Y, Grenier S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders

Year: 2012

Volume: 1

Issue: 4

Pages: 274-282

Print publication date: 22/06/2012

ISSN (print): 2211-3649

ISSN (electronic): 2211-3657

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/j.jocrd.2012.06.003


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name
004109-104Fonds de la Recherche en Sante du Quebec