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Observational Study
. 2016 Mar 24;6(3):e009118.
doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009118.

Brief Strategic Therapy for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Clinical and Research Protocol of a One-Group Observational Study

Free PMC article
Observational Study

Brief Strategic Therapy for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Clinical and Research Protocol of a One-Group Observational Study

Giada Pietrabissa et al. BMJ Open. .
Free PMC article


Introduction: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a disabling psychopathology. The mainstay of treatment includes cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and medication management. However, individual suffering, functional impairments as well as the direct and indirect costs associated with the disease remain substantial. New treatment programmes are necessary and the brief strategic therapy (BST) has recently shown encouraging results in clinical practice but no quantitative study has as yet been conducted.

Methods and analysis: The clinical effectiveness of the OCD-specific BST protocol will be evaluated in a one-group observational study. Participants will be sequentially recruited from a state community psychotherapy clinic in Dublin, Ireland. Outcome measures will be the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) and the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II). Data will be collected at baseline, at treatment termination and at 3 month follow-up. The statistical significance of the post-treatment effect will be assessed by the paired-sample Student t test, while clinical significance will be evaluated by means of the equivalence testing method, which will be also used to assess the maintenance of effect at follow-up.

Ethics/dissemination: The present study is approved by the Hesed House Ethics Board in Dublin. Findings will enhance the evidence-based knowledge about the clinical effectiveness of BST in treating OCD symptoms, prior to assessing its efficacy in a randomised and controlled clinical trial, and will be disseminated through publication in peer-reviewed journals and conference presentations.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Discriminating factors of the strategic intervention.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Comparison between CBT and BST. BST, brief strategic therapy; CBT, cognitive–behavioural therapy; OCD, obsessive–compulsive disorder.

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