Clinicians or computers for OCD. (Clinical Capsules).
Computer-guided behavior therapy effectively treats
obsessive-compulsive disorder, said Dr. John H. Greist of Healthcare
Technology Systems, Madison, Wis., and his colleagues. In a randomized trial of 218 obsessive-compulsive disorder patients (aged 15-80 years),
69 patients received 10 weeks of clinician-guided therapy 74 received 10
weeks of computer-guided therapy, and 75 used self-relaxation therapy
for 10 weeks (J. Clin. Psychiatry 63:138-45, 2002). Those who used
the computerized behavior therapy system (BT STEPS) improved their
scores on the Yale-Brown obsessive-Compulsive Scale from an average of
24.6 at baseline to 19 at 10 weeks. Those who had clinician-guided
therapy fared even better, reducing their average score from 25.2 at
baseline to 17.6 at 10 weeks. Patients who received either
clinician-guided treatment or computer-guided treatment improved
significantly--a 3.4-hour reduction in time spent at rituals and
obsessive behavior--compared with a 0.6hour reduction among those
receiving relaxati on therapy.