Couple-based CBT for Intimate Partners of Those with OCD

CBT studyBackground and Objectives: This study investigated the effect of a couple-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) on the intimate partners of patients. Previous research has shown this intervention to be efficacious in reducing OCD symptoms and comorbidities in patients.

Method: In an open-treatment trial, 16 couples completed the 16-session manualized treatment, and were followed up 6- and 12-months post-treatment.

Results: Multilevel modeling analyses were conducted to examine change over time, and results indicated that relative to baseline, partners showed improvements in relationship functioning, communication, and criticalness in the short-term, and maintained their gains in communication skills over the long-term.

Limitations: The non-controlled design and small sample size limit the certainty of the study’s findings. Conclusions: Overall, this investigation offers preliminary evidence that including intimate partners in couple-based CBT for OCD has no negative effects on partners, and in fact, can provide them with residual positive effects.

Belus, J. M., Baucom, D. H., & Abramowitz, J. S. (2014). The effect of a couple-based treatment for OCD on intimate partners. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 45, 4, 484-488.

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