Research Guides Child OCD Treatment

PROVIDENCE, R.I., Oct. 19 (UPI) — Research is showing clinicians how to better predict how a child with obsessive compulsive disorder may respond to treatment, U.S. researchers say.

Researchers at the Bradley Hasbro Children’s Research Center in Providence, R.I., say OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts, or obsessions, and/or repetitive behaviors, or compulsions.


“Based on our findings, cognitive behavioral therapy with or without a concomitant medication is the treatment of choice for children and teens with OCD who do not have a parent or sibling who is also affected,” study lead author Abbe Garcia says in a statement.

However, children with a family history — a parent and/or sibling with OCD — did six times worse in cognitive behavioral therapy than patients without a family history, so Garcia recommends children with a family history combine cognitive behavioral therapy with medication.

The researchers found that children with less severe OCD symptoms, fewer co-existing behavior problems and children whose symptoms cause less impairment in their everyday lives showed greater improvement across all of the treatments.

In addition, the study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, found children who were better able to recognize their symptoms as irrational fared better, regardless of what kind of treatment, while patients from families that were less accommodating of OCD symptoms were also more successful in all treatments.

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