Exposure and ritual prevention for obsessive-compulsive disorder: effects of intensive versus twice-weekly sessions

J Consult Clin Psychol. 2003 Apr;71(2):394-8. doi: 10.1037/0022-006x.71.2.394.


Exposure and ritual prevention (ERP) is the most effective treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), yet the intensive treatment schedule often described is not transportable to many settings. In the present study, the authors examined whether a twice-weekly (TW) ERP program reduced the effectiveness of intensive (IT) ERP. Forty OCD patients received 15 sessions of ERP: 20 received daily treatment over 3 weeks and 20 received twice weekly therapy over 8 weeks. Results indicated that both programs were effective. The effect of therapy schedule was moderate, with a trend toward more improvement in the intensive group at posttreatment. No differences were found at follow-up; some evidence of relapse was found with IT but not TW.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / prevention & control
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / therapy*
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Psychotherapy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Stereotypic Movement Disorder / prevention & control*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors