A pilot randomized controlled trial of videoconference-assisted treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder

Behav Res Ther. 2014 Dec;63:162-8. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2014.10.007. Epub 2014 Oct 30.


Evidence-based exposure and response prevention (ERP) treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is not always easily accessible. Long distances from specialist treatment and other practical or motivational difficulties can interfere with ERP access and outcome. Delivery of ERP through telepsychology can help "fill the gap". The current study included 30 patients with OCD who were randomized to 12 weeks of either videoconference-assisted ERP (VCT; N = 10), self-help ERP (S-H, N = 10), or a wait-list condition (W-L, N = 10). The VCT format included use of tablet-based videoconferencing sessions (N = 6) or studio-based videoconference (N = 4), as well as telephone calls. Patients rated the VCT format as natural and reported strong working alliances with their therapists. VCT treatment produced significantly greater reductions in obsessive-compulsive symptoms compared to the two control conditions. Treatment outcomes were similar to that of regular face-to-face ERP and improvements in symptom scores remained stable at follow-up. The study indicated that ERP for OCD can be delivered efficiently with videoconferencing technology along with telephone calls. The use of such technology in psychological treatment is likely to become more common in the future and it holds promise as a method to make evidence-based treatment more accessible.

Keywords: CBT; ERP; OCD; Self-help; Telepsychology; Videoconference.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / therapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Remote Consultation / methods
  • Self Care / methods
  • Telemedicine / methods
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Videoconferencing*