A Pilot Trial of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Augmentation of Antibiotic Treatment in Youth with Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome-Related Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

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Background: This study reports an open trial of family-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in children and adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) exhibiting an onset pattern consistent with pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome (PANS).

Methods: Eleven primarily Caucasian youth with PANS-related OCD (range=4–14 years; 6 boys) who were incomplete responders to antibiotic treatment, received family-based CBT delivered either face-to-face or via web camera.

Results: All participants completing treatment (8 of 8) were considered improved at posttreatment, and average obsessive-compulsive symptom severity was reduced by 49%. Significant reductions in obsessive-compulsive symptom severity and in clinician- and parent-rated OCD-related impairment were noted. Reductions in parent- and child-rated anxiety, child-rated OCD-related impairment, and comorbid neuropsychiatric symptoms were not statistically significant.

Conclusions: Gains were maintained at follow-up, with 100% (6 of 6) of those assessed remaining improved. Implications for treatment and further research are discussed.

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Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, v. 25, issue 4, p. 337-343