Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Intermittent Explosive Disorder: A Pilot Randomized Clinical Trial

Michael S. McCloskey*, Kurtis L. Noblett, Jerry L. Deffenbacher, Jackie K. Gollan, Emil F. Coccaro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations

Abstract

No randomized clinical trials have evaluated the efficacy of psychotherapy for intermittent explosive disorder (IED). In the present study, the authors tested the efficacy of 12-week group and individual cognitive-behavioral therapies (adapted from J. L. Deffenbacher & M. McKay, 2000) by comparing them with a wait-list control in a randomized clinical trial among adults with IED (N = 45). Aggression, anger, and associated symptoms were assessed at baseline, midtreatment, posttreatment, and 3-month follow-up. Group and individual cognitive-behavioral therapy tended not to differ, with each reducing aggression, anger, hostile thinking, and depressive symptoms, while improving anger control relative to wait-list participants. Posttreatment effect sizes were large. These effects were maintained at 3-month follow-up. Findings provide initial support for the use of multicomponent cognitive-behavioral therapy in the treatment of IED.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)876-886
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Volume76
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2008

Keywords

  • aggression
  • cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • intermittent explosive disorder
  • randomized clinical trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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