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Psychodynamic Therapy Not Helpful for OCD with Depression

A new study discovers supplemental brief dynamic therapy does not help depressed individuals who also have obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The study focused on individuals who were receiving effective medications for the major depressive disorder.

Researchers at the University of Torino wondered if psychoanalysis or related brief psychotherapies would help individuals with obsessions and compulsions.

Until now no studies have investigated the benefits of adding brief dynamic therapy (BDT) to medication in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), while a number of recent investigations have demonstrated the efficacy of supplemental BDT among patients with major depressive disorders (MDD).

The objective of this study was to explore the efficacy of BDT combined with pharmacotherapy in comparison with pharmacotherapy alone in the treatment of OCD with concurrent MDD.

A 12-month randomized clinical trial compared a standard selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor treatment with (n = 27) or without (n = 30) supplemental BDT in patients with OCD and concurrent MDD. Supplemental BDT was added during the first 16-week trial; all patients continued to be treated with only pharmacotherapy in the following continuation phase.

The primary efficacy assessments were the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale and the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression; the secondary efficacy measures included the Clinical Global Impression Scale and the Global Assessment of Functioning.

The data analysis was conducted on the ‘intent-to-treat (ITT) efficacy patient sample.’ Fifty patients completed the study.

No difference between the two treatment groups was found at any point by any assessment method in the ITT study sample.

Therefore, researchers conclude that supplemental BDT in the treatment of patients with OCD with concurrent MDD who are receiving effective medication has no significant clinical effect on both obsessive and depressive symptoms.

The study is described in the current issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.

Source: University of Torino

Psychodynamic Therapy Not Helpful for OCD with Depression

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Psychodynamic Therapy Not Helpful for OCD with Depression. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 21, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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