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Behaviour therapy for mental disorder

Cognitive behaviour therapy is the best treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in children.

Behaviour therapy for mental disorder

Cognitive behaviour therapy is the best treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in children and teens. The therapy can be given either alone or in combination with an antidepressant like Sertraline. OCD is marked by a tendency to perform repetitive acts or ritualistic behaviours to relieve anxiety, which can disrupt children's lives and cause severe distress. Sertraline, a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor or SSRI, is one of the antidepressants . Researchers from the Duke University in Durham, North Carolina evaluated the efficacy of different initial treatments for 112 patients from 7 to 17 years of age suffering from OCD. The participants were randomly assigned to cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT), Sertraline, CBT plus sertraline, or inactive placebo treatment. Eighty-seven per cent of subjects completed the full 12 weeks of the treatment, which shows that the active treatments were well accepted and tolerated. Children treated with CBT alone or with sertraline were substantially more likely to have an improvement in OCD symptoms. Researchers found that sertraline alone proved statistically superior to placebo, confirming the efficacy of medication used to treat OCD in youth. However, CBT alone was more effective than sertraline alone. The findings suggest that the treatment of children and adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder should begin with the combination of cognitive-behavior therapy and a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or CBT alone.
Journal of the American Medical Association,
October 2004
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