2007 OCF Grant

Delivery of Internet treatment for compulsive hoarding (D.I.T.C.H.)

Jordana R. Muroff, MSW, PhD

Boston University School of Social Work (Boston, MA)

Award Amount: $43,477

Hoarding disorder (HD) was considered a subtype of OCD at the time of this study.

Hoarding symptoms can be treated using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). However, at the time of this study, no Internet-based CBT modules available for hoarding were actively studied, despite the use of Internet-based therapies to meet patients that may be unable to access in-person treatment with ease.

This study by Dr. Muroff and her team aimed to understand whether an existing Internet-based self-help group with elements of CBT can help people with compulsive hoarding symptoms. The group consisted of active participants (n=106) and waitlisted participants (n=155) who would enter the active group after the waiting period was over; the group also encouraged active participation and engagement through requiring taking active steps and posting within two months of membership. Over 15 months, participants saw overall significant improvement in symptoms (with active members seeing more improvement than waitlisted participants), with less posting activity being associated with greater severity. These results show the potential for Internet-based group therapy modules for compulsive hoarding. 


Resulting Publication:

*Muroff, J., Steketee, G., Himle, J., & Frost, R. (2010). Delivery of internet treatment for compulsive hoarding (D.I.T.C.H.). Behaviour Research and Therapy, 48, 79-85. doi:10.1016/j.brat.2009.09.006