Treatment for Early Childhood Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

ECI_ImageResearchers in the Early Childhood Interventions Program at the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders of Boston University are conducting a study to evaluate two formats for the delivery of cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) for childhood obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in young children between the ages of 4-8. Children with OCD suffer with unwanted and intrusive thoughts, excessive doubting and anxiety, and often feel compelled to repeatedly perform routines and ritualistic behaviors to try to reduce their anxiety. Cognitive-behavioral therapy provides education to families and a set of key tools for the management of early childhood OCD. Parents learn modeling and scaffolding techniques, and learn specific behavioral techniques, while children learn how to “boss back” their OCD and confront their fears.

Families in this clinical study will be randomly assigned to receive either (a) traditional in-office treatment held at our center, or (b) Internet-based treatment delivered directly to families in their homes through the use of live videoconferencing technology.  Both treatments teach the same evidence-based cognitive-behavioral strategies to families, and both treatments include the same amount of therapist contact, live practice, and in-the-moment coaching from
behavioral specialists from the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders.

All study treatment and assessments are offered at no cost to eligible families.

Who may be eligible?

Children (4-8 years of age) who meet criteria for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD; characterized by unwanted and intrusive thoughts, excessive doubting and anxiety, and often a compelling need to repeatedly perform routines and ritualistic behaviors to try to reduce their anxiety) may be eligible for the treatment study.

Who do I contact for more information?

For more information on this program, please call (617) 353-9610, and ask to speak to Dr. Jami Furr. You can also email our registered nurse, Bonnie Brown at bonnieb@bu.edu. A member of our clinical staff will be happy to speak with you about our program and answer any questions you may have.