Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Therapy to overcome fears helps children with obsessive-compulsive disorder

04.05.2005


Psychological treatment that teaches children to face their fears is the most effective treatment for pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), according to a new Mayo Clinic analysis of previously published research.



The treatment, a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) called exposure and response prevention, produces almost twice as much benefit compared with medications used for childhood OCD, says Jonathan Abramowitz, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic psychologist and lead researcher on the study. The study is published in the spring issue of Behavior Therapy, and is the first meta-analysis (a quantitative approach to combining the results of previous studies) to focus on children with OCD.

OCD is an anxiety disorder that affects about 1 percent of children and adolescents, and 2 to 3 percent of adults.


Just like adults with OCD, children with OCD are plagued with persistent, distressing and illogical fears. These obsessions, such as fear of dirt or germs, compel the child to perform repetitive behaviors, such as excessive hand washing. The obsession and compulsive behavior can interfere with school, friends and family life.

Dr. Abramowitz and his colleagues reviewed 18 studies on OCD treatment published from 1983 to 2004. The studies examined the effectiveness of CBT or medication therapy.

Both CBT and antidepressant medications such as fluoxetine (Prozac) and clomipramine (Anafranil) are considered standard treatment for OCD. And many children with OCD are able to benefit from either form of treatment, or their combination.

Dr. Abramowitz and his colleagues compared the results from 10 studies of CBT and 11 studies of medication treatment to determine whether either treatment has an advantage.

"Because very few studies have directly compared the effects of medication versus CBT for treating children, our results give parents and health care providers more insight as they choose treatment," says Dr. Abramowitz.

Exposure and Response Prevention

In exposure and response prevention, children learn strategies to manage obsessional fears and compulsive urges by gradually facing their fears. For example, a child who is afraid of getting sick if she touches her shoe would practice touching her shoe without washing her hands. A youngster with a fear that the number 13 will cause bad luck might go to the 13th floor of a building to get exposure to this number. Exposure and response prevention teaches children how to reduce their fears and rituals by thinking and acting in more healthy ways. The children learn that their fears and rituals are unnecessary.

And treatment is short term. At the Mayo Clinic OCD program, treatment typically lasts from one to four months.

"Most importantly, the improvements that children make appear to last after therapy ends," says Stephen Whiteside, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic child psychologist and coauthor of the study. "That’s because children learn skills in therapy that no one can ever take away from them."

Not all families have access to this type of treatment. Dr.Whiteside notes that effective therapy requires a mental health care provider who has specific training or experience in exposure and response prevention therapy.

Medication Therapy

Medication therapy also reduces symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, though doctors aren’t sure why. OCD symptoms usually return when children stop taking medication.

"Medication therapy is based on the idea that OCD has something to do with serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter," says Dr. Abramowitz. "But experts remain unsure of exactly how medications work." Also puzzling, the researchers noted a placebo effect. The analyses suggested that some children benefited from receiving a placebo instead of the real drug.

"The study supports clinical impressions that both antidepressant medication and exposure and response prevention therapy can reduce symptoms for children with OCD," says Dr. Abramowitz. "But neither approach cures the disorder."

Dr. Abramowitz says that more studies are needed to evaluate if the exposure and response prevention therapy could be used together, or in sequence with medication, to reduce symptoms more effectively.

Shelly Plutowski | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mayoclinic.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State

nachricht NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology
07.12.2016 | Nanyang Technological University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Closing the carbon loop

08.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Applicability of dynamic facilitation theory to binary hard disk systems

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>