Internet-Delivered, Family-Based Treatment for Early-Onset OCD: A Pilot Randomized Trial

Jonathan S. Comer*, Jami M. Furr, Caroline E. Kerns, Elizabeth Miguel, Stefany Coxe, R. Meredith Elkins, Aubrey L. Carpenter, Danielle Cornacchio, Christine E. Cooper-Vince, Mariah DeSerisy, Tommy Chou, Amanda L. Sanchez, Muniya Khanna, Martin E. Franklin, Abbe M. Garcia, Jennifer B. Freeman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Objective: Despite advances in supported treatments for early onset obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), progress has been constrained by regionally limited expertise in pediatric OCD. Videoteleconferencing (VTC) methods have proved useful for extending the reach of services for older individuals, but no randomized clinical trials (RCTs) have evaluated VTC for treating early onset OCD. Method: RCT comparing VTC-delivered family based cognitive-behavioral therapy (FB-CBT) versus clinicbased FB-CBT in the treatment of children ages 4-8 with OCD (No 22). Pretreatment, posttreatment, and 6-month follow-up assessments included mother-/therapist-reports and independent evaluations masked to treatment condition. Primary analyses focused on treatment retention, engagement and satisfaction. Hierarchical linear modeling preliminarily evaluated the effects of time, treatment condition, and their interactions. Excellent response was defined as a 1 or 2 on the Clinical Global ImpressionsImprovement Scale. Results: Treatment retention, engagement, alliance and satisfaction were high across conditions. Symptom trajectories and family accommodation across both conditions showed outcomes improving from baseline to posttreatment, and continuing through follow-up. At posttreatment, 72.7% of Internet cases and 60% of Clinic cases showed excellent response, and at follow-up 80% of Internet cases and 66.7% of Clinic cases showed excellent response. Significant condition differences were not found across outcomes. Conclusions: VTC methods may offer solutions to overcoming traditional barriers to care for early onset OCD by extending the reach of real-time expert services regardless of children's geographic proximity to quality care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-186
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • OCD
  • behavioral telehealth
  • early childhood
  • early intervention
  • videoteleconferencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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