Internet-delivered, family-based treatment for early-onset OCD: A pilot randomized trial

J Consult Clin Psychol. 2017 Feb;85(2):178-186. doi: 10.1037/ccp0000155. Epub 2016 Nov 21.


Objective: Despite advances in supported treatments for early onset obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), progress has been constrained by regionally limited expertise in pediatric OCD. Videoteleconferencing (VTC) methods have proved useful for extending the reach of services for older individuals, but no randomized clinical trials (RCTs) have evaluated VTC for treating early onset OCD.

Method: RCT comparing VTC-delivered family based cognitive-behavioral therapy (FB-CBT) versus clinic-based FB-CBT in the treatment of children ages 4-8 with OCD (N = 22). Pretreatment, posttreatment, and 6-month follow-up assessments included mother-/therapist-reports and independent evaluations masked to treatment condition. Primary analyses focused on treatment retention, engagement and satisfaction. Hierarchical linear modeling preliminarily evaluated the effects of time, treatment condition, and their interactions. "Excellent response" was defined as a 1 or 2 on the Clinical Global Impressions-Improvement Scale.

Results: Treatment retention, engagement, alliance and satisfaction were high across conditions. Symptom trajectories and family accommodation across both conditions showed outcomes improving from baseline to posttreatment, and continuing through follow-up. At posttreatment, 72.7% of Internet cases and 60% of Clinic cases showed "excellent response," and at follow-up 80% of Internet cases and 66.7% of Clinic cases showed "excellent response." Significant condition differences were not found across outcomes.

Conclusions: VTC methods may offer solutions to overcoming traditional barriers to care for early onset OCD by extending the reach of real-time expert services regardless of children's geographic proximity to quality care. (PsycINFO Database Record

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Family Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / therapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Telemedicine / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Videoconferencing*