Evidence Base Update for Psychosocial Treatments for Pediatric Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Jennifer Freeman, Abbe Garcia, Hannah Frank, Kristen Benito, Christine Conelea, Michael Walther, Julie Edmunds

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic and impairing condition that often persists into adulthood. Barrett, Farrell, Pina, Peris, and Piacentini (2008), in this journal, provided a detailed review of evidence-based psychosocial treatments for youth with OCD. The current review provides an evidence base update of the pediatric OCD psychosocial treatment literature with particular attention to advances in the field as well as to the methodological challenges inherent in evaluating such findings. Psychosocial treatment studies conducted since the last review are described and evaluated according to methodological rigor and evidence-based classification using the JCCAP evidence-based treatment evaluation criteria (Southam-Gerow & Prinstein, this issue). Findings from this review clearly converge in support of cognitive-behavioral therapy as an effective and appropriate first line treatment for youth with OCD (either alone or in combination with medication). Although no treatment for pediatric OCD has yet to be designated as "well-established," both individual and individual family-based treatments have been shown to be "probably efficacious." Moderators and predictors of treatment outcome are discussed as are the areas where we have advanced the field and the areas where we have room to grow. The methodological and clinical challenges inherent in a review of the evidence base are reviewed. Finally, future research directions are outlined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-26
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


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