Background: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is one of the most prevalent psychiatric disorders and can cause problems for individuals in all aspects of life, including social and personal dimensions. 

Objective: To study the effect of group cognitive-behavioral therapy on the reduction of OCD symptoms in female participants with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Methods: This double-blind randomized control trial was conducted from May 2012 to December 2014. The participants included 75 patients with MS who suffered from OCD and were referred to the Loghman Hakim and Imam Khomeini hospitals in Tehran, Iran. Thirty participants had been diagnosed through Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms (Y-BOCS). The participants were randomly divided into an experimental group (n=15) and a control group (n=15). Eleven sessions of cognitive-behavioral therapy were provided for the experimental group. Patients in the control group continued with their normal living. Hypotheses were tested using an analysis of covariance (ANCOVA).

Results: A significant reduction was found in the experimental group’s obsessive-compulsive symptoms after cognitive-behavioral therapy (p<0.001). In addition, mean scores for participants in the experimental group were significantly lower than for those in the control group (p=0.000).

Conclusion: It can be inferred that cognitive-behavioral therapy could considerably reduce OCD symptoms in women with MS. The application of this method by therapists, especially Iranian clinicians, is recommended. 

Trial registration: The trial is registered at the Thai Clinical Trial Registry (clinicaltrials.in.th) with the TCR identification number TCTR20150927001.

Funding: The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


Keywords: Multiple Sclerosis, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Women
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