2008 OCF Grant

Treatment of compulsive hoarding in older adults

Catherine R. Ayers, PhD

University of California, San Diego (La Jolla, CA)

Award Amount: $38,873

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

Hoarding symptoms pose unique challenges and dangers for older adults. Although cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has shown to be effective for treating hoarding symptoms, no study at the time tested CBT for older adults with hoarding symptoms.

This study by Dr. Ayers and her team tested 26 sessions of CBT for 12 adults over the age of 65 with hoarding symptoms. The team found that although hoarding severity and depression were significantly reduced, but only three participants were considered to be treatment responders by the end and there were no significant long-term effects of treatment. The study found that older adults with hoarding symptoms may not benefit from CBT, and recommended that other therapies and treatments should be explored for this population.


Resulting Publication:

*Ayers, C.R., Wetherell, J.L., Golshan, S., & Saxena, S. (2011). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for geriatric compulsive hoarding. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 49(10), 689-694. doi:10.1016/j.brat.2011.07.002