Although pediatric OCD presents its own difficult symptoms, prior research showed that almost half of children with OCD also had a comorbid disruptive behavior disorder.
This study by Dr. Sukhodolsky and his team aimed to evaluate the efficacy of exposure and response prevention (ERP) combined with parent management training (PMT) on the symptoms of children with OCD and a disruptive behavior disorder. PMT is an effective treatment modality that teaches parents to help their children with disruptive behavior disorders through methods of behavior modification such as positive reinforcement and setting limits. Six children with OCD were monitored for OCD symptom severity over four weeks, and then were randomly placed either into six weekly sessions of PMT followed by 12 weeks of ERP (PMT+ERP) or six weeks on a waitlist and 12 weeks of ERP. Two children in the PMT+ERP group saw reductions in both OCD and disruptive behavior symptoms; one child only saw an overall modest reduction in OCD symptoms. In the ERP group, two of three children did not have much overall change in OCD symptoms (while one did), but saw a reduction in disruptive behaviors. The study suggests that a combination of ERP and PMT could be effective for children with OCD and disruptive behaviors, but a longer course of treatment may be necessary.
*Sukhodolsky, D.G., Gorman, B.S., Scahill, L., Findley, D., & McGuire, J. (2013). Exposure and response prevention with or without parent management tranding for children with obsessive-compulsive disorder complicated by disruptive behavior: A multiple-baseline across-responses design study. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 27, 298-305. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2013.01.005