While many effective treatments for OCD have been developed through research, most of the studies used did not include diverse groups of research participants. This lack of diversity led to a gap in learning how treatments can be adapted to meet the unique needs of diverse populations. These needs can be influenced by many aspects of identity including race, ethnicity, culture, income, gender identity, sexual orientation, immigration status, and other socioeconomic and cultural factors—or their unique combinations.
To help clinicians adapt OCD treatments to meet the challenges of all clients, Dr. Sanchez and her team are collecting strategies utilized for adapting OCD treatment to meet the needs of low-income youth and youth of color. Through interviews with youth and clinicians, as well as data collected at a clinic serving youth of color and low-income youth in Philadelphia, they are creating a toolkit and training that will help clinicians overcome barriers and provide effective treatment to youth with OCD from a greater range of backgrounds. The toolkit development is underway with iterative feedback from advisory board members. To date, 28 participants have been interviewed, and recruitment is wrapping up. In addition, a survey for clinicians working with youth with anxiety and OCD will be deployed to assess the initial feasibility and acceptability of the toolkit.