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Achieving Wellness from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a treatment study sponsored by NIMH.

About Our OCD Treatment Study

This is a study for people who are taking medication for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) but still have trouble with OCD symptoms. The study provides a type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for OCD to see whether this therapy can help people become well and then stop taking their medication.

Medication and OCD

The most commonly used treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a group of medications called serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs). Despite research showing that these medications help many OCD patients, a substantial number who take such medications remain symptomatic. In fact, on average patients taking SRIs experience only a 30% reduction in their OCD symptoms and most have side effects that impact their quality of life.

Another Treatment Option

Another treatment for OCD is a type of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy called Exposure and Response Prevention (EX/RP). EX/RP has been found effective as a stand-alone treatment for OCD and it can also further reduce OCD symptoms in patients who take medication and continue to experience OCD related distress. Not only is EX/RP effective in reducing symptoms, many patients are able to maintain their gains after therapy has stopped.

Our OCD Treatment Study

The goal of this study is to identify who benefits from adding EX/RP therapy to SRI medication and to find out whether they can discontinue their SRI. Participants in the study will receive up to 25 twice-weekly sessions of EX/RP. Participants who experience a significant reduction of OCD symptoms from EX/RP will be randomly selected to either: 1) gradually discontinue their medication and begin taking a placebo (sugar) pill instead or, 2) to continue taking their medication. Participants will not know if they are taking placebo or medication. All participants will be monitored by the study psychiatrist for an additional 6 months and will receive monthly therapy sessions to help them maintain the gains made from EX/RP.

This study is being conducted in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania and in New York at Columbia University. To participate in this research, you must be able and willing to travel to either Philadelphia or New York for all study visits. However, please note that the Philadelphia site is no longer recruiting participants.

Click here to find out more about eligibility for our OCD treatment study.

Warning:People with OCD should never try to stop taking their medication without supervision by their prescribing doctor.