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Young children with OCD benefit from family-based treatment
Date:5/15/2008

PROVIDENCE, R.I. Although children as young as 5 can be diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), few research studies have looked at treatments specifically geared toward young children with this disorder. Now, a new study from the Bradley Hasbro Childrens Research Center provides some of the first evidence-based data on a successful intervention for early childhood OCD.

According to the studys findings, published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, children with OCD between the ages of 5 and 8 may benefit from a form of psychotherapy, known as family-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), that is uniquely tailored to the childs developmental needs and family context. The overall focus of family-based CBT is to provide both child and parents with a set of tools to help them understand, manage and reduce OCD symptoms.

If left untreated, early childhood OCD can severely disrupt and impair a childs development and functioning and can extend into adulthood. Despite this risk, clinicians do not have a proven treatment model for these young children, says lead author Jennifer B. Freeman, Ph.D., of the Bradley Hasbro Childrens Research Center and an assistant professor of psychiatry/human behavior (research) at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Based on our findings, we believe that family-based cognitive behavioral therapy for early childhood OCD offers a promising intervention that may help to minimize the chronic nature of OCD and decrease the morbidity of this debilitating illness, she adds.

Researchers worked with 42 young children with OCD who were randomized to receive 12 sessions completed over 14 weeks of either family-based CBT or family-based relaxation treatment (RT), an approach that teaches the family and child relaxation techniques aimed at reducing some of the stress inherent with OCD. Just over half of the patients were ran
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Contact: Jessica Collins Grimes
jgrimes2@lifespan.org
401-432-1328
Lifespan
Source:Eurekalert

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