Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and Their Combination in the Improvement of Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms and Experiential Avoidance in Patients With Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

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APA Citation: 

Vakili, Y., Gharaee, B., & Habibi, M. (2015). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and Their Combination in the Improvement of Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms and Experiential Avoidance in Patients With Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Iranian journal of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, 9(2).

Publication Topic: 
ACT: Empirical
Publication Type: 
Article
Language: 
English
Keyword(s): 
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
Abstract: 

Background:
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and exposure with response prevention for treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have demonstrated empirical support; however, a substantial number of patients remain with clinically significant OCD symptoms after such treatments.

Objectives:
The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and combination of ACT and SSRIs in the treatment of adults with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Patients and Methods:
Thirty-two outpatients meeting Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision criteria for OCD were randomly assigned to one of the three treatment conditions: ACT, SSRIs and combined treatment. The Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale and Acceptance and Action Questionnaire were administered at pre-treatment and post-treatment. Twenty-seven patients completed the study. Data was analyzed using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and one-way analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), clinically significant change (CSC) and complete remission status.

Results:
ANCOVA revealed that patients treated with ACT and combined treatment experienced a significantly greater improvement in obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptoms and experiential avoidance (EA) at post-treatment compared to those treated with SSRIs alone. However, there were no significant differences between ACT and combined treatment on OC symptoms and EA. CSC and complete remission status results showed that unlike SSRI, ACT and combined treatment led to more improvement in OC symptoms.

Conclusions:
ACT and combined treatment are more effective than SSRIs alone in treating OC symptoms and EA. However, it appears that adding SSRIs to ACT does not increase the effectiveness of ACT in the treatment of adults with OCD in the short-term.

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