The attention training technique as an attempt to decrease intrusive thoughts in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): From cognitive theory to practice and back

Steffen Moritz*, Nathalie Wess, András Treszl, Lena Jelinek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The attention training technique (ATT) is a cognitive treatment method that is aimed at ameliorating intrusive thoughts in anxiety disorders. To the best of our knowledge, no randomized controlled study has yet been conducted on individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). For the present study, we recruited 80 participants with OCD over the internet and allocated them to an experimental (ATT implemented as bibliotherapy) or a wait-list condition. Assessments were made at baseline and four weeks later. Groups performed similar at both time points on the self-report version of the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) and the Obsessive Compulsive Inventory-revised (OCI-R). The present study speaks against the effectiveness of ATT as a stand-alone bibliotherapeutical approach for OCD. From our data and increasing evidence that OCD patients do not suffer from severe attention or executive deficits we consider an approach targeting attentional biases for certain OCD-related events more useful than a generic (i.e., OCD-unspecific) cognitive remediation approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-143
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Contemporary Psychotherapy
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Attention training
  • Cognition
  • Controlled trial
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

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