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Clinical Trial
, 45 (7), 1461-70

An Open Trial of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Compulsive Hoarding

Clinical Trial

An Open Trial of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Compulsive Hoarding

David F Tolin et al. Behav Res Ther.


The aim of the present study was to provide preliminary data on the efficacy of a new cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) for compulsive hoarding. Fourteen adults with compulsive hoarding (10 treatment completers) were seen in two specialty CBT clinics. Participants were included if they met research criteria for compulsive hoarding according to a semistructured interview, were age 18 or above, considered hoarding their main psychiatric problem, and were not receiving mental health treatment. Patients received 26 individual sessions of CBT, including frequent home visits, over a 7-12 month period between December 2003-February 2005. Primary outcome measures were the Saving Inventory-Revised (SI-R), Clutter Image Rating (CIR), and Clinician's Global Impression (CGI). Significant decreases from pre- to post-treatment were noted on the SI-R and CIR, but not the CGI-severity rating. CGI-Improvement ratings indicated that at mid-treatment, 40% (n=4) of treatment completers were rated "much improved" or "very much improved;" at post-treatment, 50% (n=5) received this rating. Adherence to homework assignments was strongly related to symptom improvement. CBT with specialized components to address problems with motivation, organizing, acquiring and removing clutter appears to be a promising intervention for compulsive hoarding, a condition traditionally thought to be resistant to treatment.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Mean Percent Reduction on the Clutter, Difficulty Discarding, and Acquisition Subscales of the Saving Inventory-Revised

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