Patient adherence to cognitive behavioural therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Journal article

Leeuwerik, T., Cavanagh, K. and Strauss, C. 2019. Patient adherence to cognitive behavioural therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Anxiety Disorders. 68, pp. 102-135.
AuthorsLeeuwerik, T., Cavanagh, K. and Strauss, C.

Whilst cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is the treatment of choice for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), around half of the participants do not experience remission following treatment. As yet, there is no comprehensive systematic review of the extent to which patient non-adherence presents a challenge to the overall benefit of CBT for OCD. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to identify the magnitude, moderators and reasons for poor patient adherence to CBT for OCD in terms of: (1) treatment refusal, (2) treatment dropout, (3) session at- tendance/module completion, and (4) between-session CBT task adherence. Sociodemographic and clinical variables, treatment and study design characteristics were examined as moderators of adherence. The systematic search identified 123 studies including 5627 participants taking part in CBT or control conditions. A pooled rate of 15.6% of eligible patients refused CBT and a further 15.9% of treatment starters dropped out from treatment. Group CBT had significantly lower dropout rates than individually-delivered CBT. No other significant moderators were found. Most studies reported moderate to good adherence to between-session CBT tasks, which had a significant medium to large association with post-treatment OCD symptom reduction. Recommendations for enhanced measurement and re- porting of patient adherence to CBT for OCD are made along with clinical implications of findings.

KeywordsObsessive compulsive disorder ; Adherence Refusal Attrition; CBT; Meta-analysis
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Journal citation68, pp. 102-135
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FunderEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
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Online28 Aug 2019
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Accepted23 Aug 2019
Deposited13 Jan 2020
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