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Talk-drug therapy combo improves OCD for kids


Children and teens with obsessive-compulsive disorder have been found to benefit from a drug therapy/talk therapy combo treatment. When kids taking medication supplemented their treatment with cognitive behavior therapy, there was a greater reduction in OCD symptoms according to the latest research.

The importance of combining therapies

According to the University of Pennsylvania Study,

“Obsessive-compulsive disorder affects up to 1 in 50 people, is evident across development, and is associated with substantial dysfunction and psychiatric comorbidity. Randomized controlled trial findings support the efficacy of pharmacotherapy with serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs), cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) involving exposure plus response prevention, and combined treatment. However, a paucity of expertise in pediatric OCD prevents most families from accessing exposure plus response prevention or combined treatment.

Outcome data for pharmacotherapy alone, the most widely available treatment indicate that partial response is the normal and clinically significant residual symptoms often persist even after an adequate trial,”

Because most doctors have some level of success with pharmaceuticals, many times they don’t recommend the addition of talk therapy. Many families just don’t know about it on their own or think that once on drug therapy, there is little else to do.

CBT + Pharmaceuticals reduced symptoms

The 12 week study showed that CBT with pharmaceuticals reduced symptoms by 30% off baseline score in their Children’s Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale. Results were not as good for drugs alone or for CBT alone. CBT was not statistically better than medication only.

Researchers underscored the importance of getting the word out so that children and their families know they have options and even with drugs, there is more that can be tried to improve their condition.

Source: ScienceDaily, JAMA


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