2012 IOCDF Grant

Stress reactivity as a mechanism of treatment response in pediatric OCD

Tara Peris, PhD

Semel Institute, University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)

Award Amount: $49,580

Although much research at the time focused on factors that aid the efficacy of exposure and response prevention (ERP) in adults with OCD, more insight into how these factors worked in children and young people with OCD was needed.

This study by Dr. Peris and her team aimed to examine how treatment factors of 12 sessions of ERP would predict treatment outcome in 35 children and young people with OCD (20 attending individual ERP and 15 attending individual ERP followed by positive family interaction therapy (PFIT) that served to help families manage OCD symptoms). The results showed that initial distress at starting therapy did not reliably predict how ERP would impact OCD symptoms, greater change in distress did predict symptom improvement, and greater distress at the end of treatment was associated with worse outcomes. Additionally, with more combined exposures (more than one exposure done at once), the improvement in symptoms was greater (Kircanski and Peris, 2015). Another study with 20 young people with OCD and their families compared the outcomes of 12 weeks of CBT versus Positive Family Interaction Therapy (PFIT) — a 12-week CBT course with six sessions of family-based treatment. Participants enrolled in PFIT saw a 70% response rate, compared to 40% in the CBT group, showing that PFIT can be effective at treating complex pediatric OCD cases.


Resulting Publications:

*Peris, T.S. & Piacentini, J. (2013). Optimizing treatment for complex cases of childhood obsessive compulsive disorder: A preliminary trial. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 42(1), 1-8. doi:10.108015374416.2012.673162

*Kircanski, K., & Peris, T. S. (2015). Exposure and response prevention process predicts treatment outcome in youth with OCD. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology43(3), 543–552. doi:10.1007/s10802-014-9917-2