Participant perspectives on the acceptability and effectiveness of mindfulness-based cognitive behaviour therapy approaches for obsessive compulsive disorder. Leeuwerik, T., Strauss, C., Cavanagh, K. et al (2020). PLOS ONE. 15. 10.1371/journal.pone.0238845.
This study interviewed participants in two Mindfulness-based courses for OCD about their experiences. Mindfulness helped many participants to relate differently to their obsessional intrusions and compulsions, for example through "coming back to the present", "observing and allowing", "giving less meaning to intrusions" and "calm and relaxation". Participants reported benefits from their course including reduction in OCD symptoms; increased awareness of, and ability to manage OCD; and reduced anxiety. Overall, the interviews found that most participants in the courses were satisfied with their course and considered it an acceptable treatment for OCD.
Patient Adherence to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Journal of Anxiety Disorders. Leeuwerik, T., Cavanagh, K., Strauss, C. (2019). 68. 102135. 10.1016/j.janxdis.2019.102135.
It is often suggested that poor adherence to CBT for OCD could reduce the benefits patients receive from the therapy. Non-adherence includes refusing therapy, dropping out of therapy, poor attendance, and not adhering to the tasks recommended as part of the therapy. This paper reviewed previous studies with a focus on patient adherence to CBT for OCD. It found refusal rates of 15.6% and dropout rates of 15.9%: so over 30% of patients who are recommended CBT for OCD fail to start or complete their treatment. It also found that Group CBT had significantly lower dropout rates than individual CBT. Apart from this, no other significant factors linked to refusal were found.
Mindfulness-based exposure and response prevention for obsessive compulsive disorder: Findings from a pilot randomised controlled trial. Journal of Anxiety Disorders. Strauss, C., Lea, L., Hayward, M. et al (2018) .57. 10.1016/j.janxdis.2018.04.007.
This randomised controlled trial compared a group Mindfulness-based approach to ERP with standard ERP alone. It found that both groups improved in OCD symptom severity after attending their respective therapy. However, the mindfulness-based approach did not lead to clinically important improvements in symptom severity, whereas the standard ERP did. All measures of depression, wellbeing and OCD-related beliefs were in favour of standard ERP in comparison to Mindfulness-based ERP. However, there was evidence that Mindfulness-based ERP has potential to improve mindfulness in comparison to standard ERP.
A meta-analytic review of the relationship between family accommodation and OCD symptom severity. Journal of Anxiety Disorders. 33. 10.1016/j.janxdis.2015.05.006. Strauss, C, Hale, L., Stobie, B. (2015).
Family accommodation is when family members support OCD maintaining processes. This could include performing compulsive rituals for the person such as checking and cleaning, providing reassurance, and modifying routines. Theories of OCD suggest that family accommodation worsens the symptoms of OCD. Using meta-analysis of previous studies, this paper supported this theory by finding that there was a significant relationship between family accommodation and OCD symptoms. It found no differences between children and adults.
The Effectiveness and Acceptability of Mindfulness-Based Therapy for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: A Review of the Literature. Mindfulness. Hale, L., Strauss, C., & Taylor, B.L. (2013). 4. 10.1007/s12671-012-0137-y.
CBT (ERP) is the recommended psychology therapy for OCD. However, it is not without problems: it only has only moderate response rates, and relatively high drop-out rates. A mindfulness-based approach could help in treatment of OCD, by enabling people to notice intrusive thoughts without attaching significance and meaning to them. This literature review found four empirical studies investigating mindfulness techniques in the treatment of OCD. All of the studies reviewed found positive effects of mindfulness on symptoms of OCD. This provides an early indication that mindfulness-based therapy could be promising as an intervention for OCD.