Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Research Annotated Bibliography Thesis

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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Research

Annotated Bibliography

About OCD." 2006 Obsessive Compulsive Foundation. 20 October, 2008 at http://www.ocfoundation.org

Although I will not be using this site specifically for information in my report, it was helpful in providing information on what was presently taking place in the OCD field. A yearly conference focusing on OCD will be the first thing you will see upon entering this site. There are intensive treatment programs and hoarding information for both adolescent and young adults with OCD. There are also medications that are described for those being treated and research participation with a focus on special interest groups. By examining what OCD really is, this website allows its audience to recognize the difference between obsessions and compulsions. In offering external links it allows those that seek more information or treatment for OCD. This site is for anyone seeking general knowledge, ways to find treatment and for people dealing with the disorder. I found that it will help me with my research paper in creating a thesis, because of the information shared by medical professionals and sufferers alike.

Abramowitz, Jonathan S. Effectiveness of psychological and pharmacological treatments for obsessive-compulsive disorder: A quantitative review.); Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 65.1(1997): 44-52.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Thesis on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Research Annotated Bibliography Assignment

Although relatively dated -- a great deal can occur in mental health research in a decade -- this quantitative review by Abramowitz was very helpful. It provided a thorough overview of studies conducted on the two main therapeutic approaches to OCD, as well as the pharmaceutical results to date. It also showed that there is a crossover between cognitive approaches and exposure procedures and both were equally effective in treatment.. Serotonergic medication, especially clomipramine, also significantly reduced OCD symptoms. However, most importantly, this quantitative review showed how few studies have been conducted in this area and the need for more research to determine the best approaches for OCD treatment. Abramowitz, in addition to his present professorship, was the director of OCD/anxiety attacks at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. His information, therefore, is not only informative but highly credible.

Hackman, A., and C. McLean. A comparison of flooding and thought stopping in the treatment of obsessional neurosis. Behavior Research and Therapy. 13(1975): 263-269.

This study is of interest from an historical standpoint, since it was an early investigation of comparing flooding in vivo and thought stopping in patients with OCD. Although the authors hypothesized that the two techniques would have different effects on symptoms, they found no significant differences between them. One of the problems with this study, however, is that there were only 11 participants, because it was a pilot. When trying to find more information on Hackman and McLean, I was unsuccessful. Because APA style only uses the first initials, I did not have enough information to find bios on these individuals. However, I did see that their 1975 study was used in numerous research reports as primary sources.

Glannon, Walter. Altering the brain and mind. American Journal of Psychiatry. 161.6 (2004): 1038-1048

Glannon's article was very thought-provoking, because it not only showed how therapies can be of help, but also may present a sizeable risk of side effects. The patient needs to weigh the pros and cons of the benefits vs. The possible negative impacts. In this case, Glannon was looking at electrical deep-brain stimulation, which has been used for Parkinson's. A very telling fact: Two patients receiving DBS for severe OCD stated if this treatment were not available, they would have committed suicide because their illness was so severe. After the DBS they could live their lives with enjoyment as once before. However, there have been rare occurrences of side effects, such as the Parkinson's patient who became manic from the treatment.

Lambert, Mara APA releases guidelines on treating obsessive-compulsive disorder. American Family Physician 78.1(2008): 131.

This report, naturally, is very interesting because it is the most recent of all my sources. Since this was an overview of the 2007 American Psychiatric Association (APA) published treatment recommendations for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), it was very comprehensive and covered information on all areas of mental care of patients with OCD. For those who do not have much of an understanding of the different types of therapy and pharmaceuticals for this illness and the advantages and disadvantages of each, this is an excellent source.

However, because it is from a conservative source, it will not be including alternative approaches in his overview. That information has to come from other research.

One of the interesting facts included is that OCD patients have symptoms that "wax and wane" over time, and treatment has to be considered that is in line with these changing symptoms.

Saxena, Sanjava, Arthur L. Brody, Karron M. Maidment, Erlyn C. Smith, Narineh Zohrabi, Elyse Katz, Stephanie K. Baker, and Lewis R. Baxter Jr. Cerebral glucose metabolism in obsessive-compulsive hoarding. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 59.12 (2002):1162-1172

Lewis Baxter, one of the authors in this study, has done several earlier studies that have deal with more general aspects of OCD, but still looking at the neurological changes that occur in the brain during these periods of obsessive behavior. I believe the more that is known about the brain, the better will be the treatment for OCD. Therapy and pharmaceuticals have been found to be very helpful, but they are secondary treatments. When researchers can narrow down the primary sources for OCD in the brain, they will be able to eventually provide treatment at the primary source. I am very hopeful that with more studies, further treatments can come that are maximum in curative ability.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a potentially disabling syndrome that can last throughout an individual's lifetime. Those suffering from OCD become enmeshed in a pattern of repetitive thoughts and behaviors that are senseless and distressing, but extremely difficult to overcome. Disagreement exists about the number of people afflicted with OCD. In the recent past, mental health professionals considered it a rare disease, because only a small minority of their patients had the condition. That was because many people with the illness did not seek treatment. However, a survey conducted in the early 1980s by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) showed that OCD affects more than 2% of the population, or more common than such severe mental illnesses as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or panic disorder. The social and economic costs of OCD were estimated to be $8.4 billion in 1990.

Because it is only within the past few decades that the true number of OCD victims has been recognized, studies have not been conducted for many years and there are not relatively a lot of studies overall. This report will review some of the research that has thus been done and the overall results and recommendations of these studies. It will also draw some conclusions based on the research thus far conducted. There are three questions that will be asked when reviewing these materials: 1) What is the therapy or pharmaceutical approach that this study focuses on; 2) was the approach found to be helpful in the treatment of OCD, why/why not; and 3) what recommendations does the author make in terms of his or her study results.

The thesis statement is: "Although a number of studies have been conducted regarding OCD treatment and conclusions are being drawn based on these results, more research needs to be conducted to better refine the data and to consider alternative approaches that are either in process now or may be in the future


Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) consists of invasive and undesired thoughts or images -- or what are termed obsessions -- which result in increased anxiety along with a repetition of deliberate rituals acted upon to neutralize this anxiety -- or otherwise known as compulsions. Not even a decade ago, this disorder was considered to be atypical. In recent years, however, the Epidemiological Catchment Area survey reported that in the United States the prevalence rate during a lifetime could reach 2.5%.

Further, once believed that control of the illness was not possible, OCD is now seen to respond to specific psychological and pharmacological interventions. However, debate continues on which of the approaches will help the person best gain control of the disorder, since a complete curative is not possible.

OCD psychological interventions include exposure-based procedures (ERP, Steketee) through rational emotive behavior therapy (Ellis), cognitive behavioral treatment founded on Beck's use of this therapy for purposes of depression, and thought stopping (Hackman & McLean). Many believe that ERP is the main choice of treatment (Abromowitz), based on a number of studies. However, a number of these have been single-case anecdotal reports and uncontrolled trials, instead of comparisons between random patients and control groups. The former may not take into consideration the fact that individuals with OCD have periods that are better/worse than others and may only seek therapeutic help when their symptoms have worsened. Plus, there have only been a small number of studies conducted in this area (Abromowitz).

Most recent ERP treatments consist of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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