Although a variety of psychotherapies are available to treat OCD, such as the cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT), access to them at the time of this study was not widespread; computers were not widely accessible, and people in rural and remote areas were less likely to receive therapy.
This early telehealth study, led by Dr. Taylor, aimed to test a telephone-administered course of CBT for individuals with OCD who lived outside the Vancouver metropolitan area. 33 individuals with OCD and no comorbid depression were given 12 weeks of immediate or delayed treatment using a course based on Jeffrey Schwartz’s therapy book Brain Lock. Symptoms were reduced at the end of treatment and at 3- and 6-month follow-ups; about half of participants no longer met criteria for an OCD diagnosis at the end of treatment. This study demonstrated the promise of CBT carried out over the telephone (Taylor et al., 2003). Another publication from this grant presented two case studies of patients treated with telephone-administered CBT — one with trichotillomania and another with skin-picking disorder (Yeh et al., 2003). While both had symptom reductions at the end of treatment, the participant with skin-picking disorder relapsed shortly before the 12-week follow up; Dr. Taylor suggested that depression or the use of medication could have interfered with her CBT treatment.
*Taylor, S., Thordarson, D.S., Spring, T., Yeh, A.H., Corcoran, K.M., Eugster, K., & Tisshaw, C. (2003). Telephone-administered cognitive behavioral therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 32(1), 13-25. doi:10.1080/16506070310003639
*Yeh, A.H., Taylor, S., Thordarson, D.S., & Corcoran, K.M. (2003). Efficacy of telephone-administered cognitive behaviour therapy for obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders: Case studies. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 32(2), 75-81. doi:10.1080/16506070302323