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OBJECTIVES: A time-intensive format may be both useful and effective for the delivery of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Intensive treatments also offer a pragmatic alternative to in-patient admission for those in a geographically remote location. Published studies of intensive treatment include pioneering exposure-response prevention (ERP) trials that emphasized the requirement for high-intensity treatment; more recently several studies have used treatment protocols with a heavy emphasis on ERP. This study compares intensive versus standard weekly treatment format following the integrated formulation-driven CBT approach widely used in UK adult mental health settings. DESIGN: An analysis of patients undertaking intensive CBT using a matched comparison group of those who undertook weekly CBT for OCD. METHODS: Twenty-two adult patients undertook intensive format treatment (matched with a weekly group for age, gender, and initial symptoms). A range of self-report measures were examined at the end of treatment and at a 3-month follow-up. RESULTS: Significant treatment effects were found on a range of self-report measures; both conditions were found to be equally effective at the end of treatment and at 3-month follow-up. Uncontrolled effect sizes show that the intensive treatment was comparable to other trials of CBT for OCD. CONCLUSION: An intensive treatment format for the delivery of CBT for OCD was found to be as effective as weekly treatment. This is consistent with the recommendations from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence guidelines. This study adds to the growing literature on the effectiveness of intensive format treatment.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Clin Psychol

Publication Date





7 - 18


Adult, Analysis of Variance, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Male, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Research Design, Severity of Illness Index, Time Factors, Treatment Outcome, United Kingdom