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Group versus individual treatment in obsessions without compulsions

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Mark FreestonORCiD


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The principal goal of the current study was to compare the efficacy of two treatment formats, group and individual, of an empirically proven manualized cognitive-behavioural treatment (CBT) package, for obsessions without overt compulsions. It was hypothesized that individualized treatment would be more effective both in terms of post-treatment group mean improvement and end state functioning. A secondary goal was to assess the relationship between cognitive and behavioural change during treatment and link it to symptom change. Both group and individual CBT format produced a significant clinical change, but as expected individual treatment produced the greater change in symptoms and in obsessional belief. Also, the individual format showed a clear superiority over the group format in the reduction of anxiety and depression. Severity of OCD symptoms showed little relationship with strength of obsessional beliefs at the start of treatment, but change in beliefs was strongly correlated with behavioural improvement post-treatment. The results of the study suggest that the impact of a group format may lie in the value of shared social support and motivational effect of peer feedback, but at the expense of individualized targets. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): O'Connor K, Freeston MH, Gareau D, Careau Y, Dufour MJ, Aardema F, Todorov C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy

Year: 2005

Volume: 12

Issue: 2

Pages: 87-96

ISSN (print): 1063-3995

ISSN (electronic): 1099-0879

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


DOI: 10.1002/cpp.439


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