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SSW’s Muroff to Study Online Treatment

SSW’s Jordana Muroff leads a study of online treatment of compulsive hoarding.

Jordana Muroff, a School of Social Work assistant professor of clinical practice, recently received a one-year grant to study the effectiveness of an online group treatment for compulsive hoarding.

Muroff’s study, called Delivery of Internet Treatment for Compulsive Hoarding (DITCH), will test the effectiveness of an online cognitive behavioral therapy–based treatment program designed to help people with compulsive hoarding better manage their symptoms.

DITCH, formed in 1998, has 100 members and a waiting list of 100. Members, who are required to post monthly updates, have access to additional resources for the disorder and can interact with one another online. “There is nothing that has been this elaborate for compulsive hoarding,” says Muroff, the study’s principal investigator.

Muroff and her colleagues developed an online survey to compare the symptoms of members with those of the people on the waiting list, the control group. Every three months respondents will complete self-reports, which include information on their hoarding behavior, social isolation, satisfaction with DITCH, and clinical improvement.

Group leaders hope the study will help them determine the efficacy of, and improve, the program. 

The results will also contribute to general knowledge about the development of innovative methodologies for cognitive behavioral therapy, Muroff says.

The $43,477 grant is from the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation.

Rebecca McNamara can be reached at ramc@bu.edu.