Investigation of the Development and Maintenance of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Grant Winners

  • Craig Marker, Ph.D.
  • Shannon Ray, Ph.D.
  • Michael Caldwell, D.M.A.

Dean

  • Karen Grosby, M.Ed.

Abstract

Award Winners

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is estimated to have a lifetime prevalence rate of 2 to 5%. In 1990, obsessive compulsive disorder cost the United States approximately $8.4 billion in social and economic losses (NIMH, 2001). A highly debilitating and often chronic condition, obsessive compulsive disorder is defined by the presence of recurrent obsessions and/or compulsions that are significantly time consuming enough to result in marked impairment in daily functioning and quality of life. While empirical evidence supports the use of cognitive behavioral therapy for the treatment of OCD, research shows that as few as 20% of people in treatment report significant symptom improvement, and as many as 40% report no improvement or worsening of symptoms following treatment (Sadock & Sadock, 2007). Additionally, little is conclusively known about the development of OCD or specific factors that lead to the progression of this incapacitating disorder. This study aims to illuminate certain contributing mediators and moderators that could be targeted in prevention and early treatment intervention programs of OCD. This study will be conducted over the internet to better access people who might not come into treatment or who might feel shame or embarrassment about their condition (Erwin et al., 2004). The eventual goal is to create a large scale intervention that can be implemented in a cost-effective manner over the internet. We are teaming with OCD clinics and foundations across the country to begin this first phase of research. Future phases are planned with a goal of securing external government funding.