Question: In adults with a diagnosis of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), how effective are group therapies and interventions, compared to individual therapies and interventions, in improving patient outcomes?


Plain language summary

Research evidence suggests that both group and individual behavioural therapies are effective in improving symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder. However the studies included were of low quality. Further trials are required in order to adequately compare the effectiveness of group and individual therapies.

Clinical and research implications

Evidence from four small randomised controlled trials (RCTs) consistently indicated that both group and individual Cognitive Behavioural Therapy were associated with improvements in obsessive-compulsive symptoms, depressive symptoms, and anxiety symptom (assessed in two trials) in adults with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. There was no evidence to support a significant difference in the effectiveness of group and individual therapies, however, it should be noted that the included RCTs were small and were unlikely to have been adequately powered to detect any difference.

Further, larger trials are required to adequately explore the comparative effectiveness of group and individual psychotherapies in this population.


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