Behavioral avoidance test for childhood obsessive-compulsive disorder: A home-based observation.
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Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is one of the most debilitating of the anxiety disorders. As our knowledge about this childhood condition continues to grow, there is a need for controlled treatment-outcome trials with precise assessments that are sensitive to treatment change, to guide the development of effective interventions. To evaluate the efficacy of a treatment protocol, it is necessary to have reliable and sensitive measures of OCD symptoms, including measures of obsessions, compulsions, and related levels of distress and avoidance. Whilst structured diagnostic interviews, semistructured clinical interviews, and self-report measures have been widely used in the assessment of childhood OCD, related levels of behavioral distress and avoidance have not been measured in treatment-outcome trials. This study investigated the sensitivity of a behavioral avoidance test (BAT), conducted in the home environment, in assessing treatment-outcome effects for children and adolescents with OCD following a 14-week cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) intervention, in comparison to children in an 8-week "wait list" control group. The results of the current study strongly support the sensitivity of a standardized BAT in assessing treatment-related changes in children and adolescents with OCD. Implications and future directions for research are discussed.
American Journal of Psychotherapy