Question: In adults with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and panic, how effective is systematic desensitisation or graded exposure, compared to any other intervention, for reducing OCD and panic?


The results of one methodologically weak systematic review and a second, high quality systematic review, (which included a subset of studies from the first review) consistently indicated that therapist-guided Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) behavioural therapy is likely to be effective in reducing obsessive-compulsive symptoms in adults with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). The available evidence suggested that self-applied ERP may not be effective. Similarly, the available evidence suggested that ERP is not effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety.

Larger, high quality randomised controlled trials are needed to fully explore the effects of ERP in people with OCD. In particular, studies should address effectiveness in people with different levels of disease severity.

To view the full summary, click the Download Document link to the right.

To view the Cochrane review which is included in this summary, click the Related Document link, below.

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