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A randomized controlled trial comparing EMDR and CBT for obsessive–compulsive disorder

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  • Zoe Marsden
  • Karina Lovell
  • David Blore
  • Shehzad Ali
  • Jaime Delgadillo


Publication details

JournalClinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
DateAccepted/In press - 1 Jul 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 28 Jul 2017
Early online date28/07/17
Original languageEnglish


Background: This study aimed to evaluate eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) as a treatment for obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), by comparison to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) based on exposure and response prevention. Method: This was a pragmatic, feasibility randomized controlled trial in which 55 participants with OCD were randomized to EMDR (n = 29) or CBT (n = 26). The Yale‐Brown obsessive– compulsive scale was completed at baseline, after treatment and at 6 months follow‐up. Treatment completion and response rates were compared using chi‐square tests. Effect size was examined using Cohen's d and multilevel modelling. Results: Overall, 61.8% completed treatment and 30.2% attained reliable and clinically significant improvement in OCD symptoms, with no significant differences between groups (p > .05). There were no significant differences between groups in Yale‐Brown obsessive–compulsive scale severity post‐treatment (d = −0.24, p = .38) or at 6 months follow‐up (d = −0.03, p = .90). Conclusions: EMDR and CBT had comparable completion rates and clinical outcomes.

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© 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details

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