Clin Psychol Psychother. 2023 Sep 12. doi: 10.1002/cpp.2908. Online ahead of print.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) including exposure and response prevention is the first-line psychological treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Given changes in the clinical landscape, there are increasing efforts to evaluate its effectiveness in online contexts. Mirroring the traditional in-person delivery, few studies have assessed the role of therapist-guided, manual-based CBT for OCD delivered in real-time via videoconferencing methods. The present study sought to fill this gap by comparing in-person and online delivery of group-based CBT for the treatment of OCD. A convenience sample of participants with moderate to severe OCD (n = 144) were recruited from a naturalistic database from two large OCD specialty assessment and treatment centres. Patients received group-based CBT that was provided in-person (pre-COVID-19 pandemic; March 2018 to March 2020) or online via videoconferencing (during the COVID-19 pandemic; March 2020 to April 2021). In both delivery methods, treatment consisted of 2-h weekly sessions led by trained clinicians. Analyses revealed that, regardless of treatment modality, both in-person and online groups demonstrated significant, reliable, and statistically equivalent improvements in OCD symptoms post-treatment. Videoconferenced, clinician-led CBT may be a promising alternative to in-person delivery for those with moderate to severe OCD symptoms.