Determining best practices in CBT implementation for pediatric OCD

Youth with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) often experience distressing experiences (for example, unwanted thoughts) which they try to prevent or relieve through obsessive strategies such as repeated hand-washing. Without treatment, OCD tends to remain a problem for youth and makes their lives very difficult.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life for most youth with OCD. However, CBT is a broad term that can include different strategies and exactly which strategies are the best to use has not been carefully studied.

Dr. Selles’ research will involve implementing a five-day intensive CBT program for youth with OCD, comparing two different strategies for youth and two different strategies for therapist involvement. This study will examine how well the treatment works and compare the impact of these strategies on symptoms, child and family wellness, family preference, and cost.

This research will help bring a needed clinic service to British Columbia while providing therapists with clearer ideas about how to provide treatment in a way that will benefit youth with OCD the most.