Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Original Article

Randomized clinical trial of the efficacy of trial-based cognitive therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder: Preliminary findings

Eleonardo Pereira Rodrigues, Ana Jardel Batista Fechine, Antonio César Oliveira, Cristiane Francisca Ferreira Matos, Cristiane de Medeiros Passarela, Curt Hemanny, Francimeuda de Morais Dias, José Wilson Batista, Luciana Nogueira Albuquerque, Myrla Sirqueira Soares, Pedro Evangelista Coelho Neto, Vanessa Pires Araújo, Zila Mendes Ayres, Irismar Reis de Oliveira

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Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is the fourth most prevalent and disabling mental disorder. OCD is associated with anatomical and functional changes in the brain, in addition to dysfunctional cognitions. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and exposure and response prevention (ERP) are the treatments of choice. Trial-based cognitive therapy (TBCT) is a recent and empirically validated psychotherapy with a focus on restructuring the dysfunctional negative core beliefs (CBs). The objective of this study was to evaluate the TBCT efficacy relative to ERP in the OCD treatment. 

A randomized, single-blind clinical trial was conducted, randomizing 26 patients for individual treatment with TBCT (n = 12) or ERP (n = 14). The groups were evaluated at baseline, at the end of 3 months (12 sessions) and at 3-, 6- and 12-month follow-up. 

Both approaches reduced the severity of symptoms with large effect sizes. These results were maintained in the 12-month follow-up assessment. 

TBCT may be a valid and promising treatment for this disorder.


Obsessive-compulsive disorder; cognitive-behavioral therapy; trial-based cognitive therapy; exposure and response prevention; randomized clinical trial

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