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Optimal Treatment for OCD (OTO)

University of Hertfordshire

We want to see if it is possible to run a larger study which looks at which treatment is best to help people with obsessive compulsive disorder. We will look at how patients came to be referred for treatment, at how many patients complete therapy and at the differences between the outcomes of different treatments. We will also look at any side effects. Participants will be randomised to one of three treatments: medication only, CBT only, medication and CBT combined.

What is involved?

  • An approved medication called sertraline (an SSRI) given once a day for 52 weeks. This drug has been shown to help patients with OCD get better.

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) with Exposure Response Prevention (ERP). This is a type of talking therapy which requires the patient to be seen regularly by a psychologist and is useful for treating OCD.

  • A combination of both the drug sertraline (given once a day for 52 weeks) and cognitive behavioural therapy with ERP (a total of 16 hours over 8 weeks and then 4 follow up sessions). This combination of treatments has also been shown to help people with OCD.


Recruitment has ended for this study and it is currently in follow up. However if you would like more information about the study then please contract the research team.

Email: Charity.chakanetsa@southernhealth.nhs.uk  

Or call the research department on 023 8047 5258.