Treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder: cognitive behavior therapy vs. exposure and response prevention

Behav Res Ther. 2005 Dec;43(12):1559-76. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2004.11.012.


The efficacy of contemporary cognitive therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has only recently been investigated. The current study compares exposure and response prevention (ERP) and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) delivered in an individual format. Participants were randomly assigned to the 12 consecutive-week CBT or ERP treatment. Based on 59 treatment completers, there was no significant difference in YBOCS scores between CBT and ERP at post-treatment or at 3-month follow-up. A higher percentage of CBT participants obtained recovered status at post-treatment (67%) and at follow-up (76%), compared to ERP participants (59% and 58%, respectively), but the difference was not significant. Effect sizes (ESs) were used to compare the results of the current study with a previous study conducted at our center that utilized group CBT and ERP treatments, as well as other controlled trials that have compared CBT and ERP. The significance of these results is discussed and a comparison is made with the existing literature.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Desensitization, Psychologic / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / psychology
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / therapy*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychotherapy, Group / methods
  • Treatment Outcome