Background: The recommended psychological treatment of choice for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is exposure with response prevention (ERP). However, recovery rates are relatively modest, so better treatments are needed. This superiority study aims to explore the relative efficacy of metacognitive therapy (MCT), a new form of cognitive therapy based on the metacognitive model of OCD. Design and method: In a randomized controlled trial, we will compare MCT with ERP. One hundred patients diagnosed with OCD will be recruited in an outpatient mental health center in Rotterdam (the Netherlands). The primary outcome measure is OCD severity, measured by the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS). Data are assessed at baseline, after treatment, and at 6 and 30 months follow-up. Discussion: By comparing MCT with ERP we hope to provide an indication whether MCT is efficacious in the treatment of OCD and, if so, whether it has the potential to be more efficacious than the current “gold standard” psychological treatment for OCD, ERP.

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Department of Psychiatry

Melchior, K., Franken, I., Deen, M., & van der Heiden, C. (2019). Metacognitive therapy versus exposure and response prevention for obsessive-compulsive disorder. Trials, 20(1). Retrieved from