A pilot study examining the use of Goal Management Training in individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Abstract Background Recent meta-analyses point towards cognitive impairments in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), particularly in such executive function subdomains as planning and organization. Scant attention has focused on cognitive remediation strategies that may reduce cognitive dysfunction, with a possible corresponding decrease in symptoms of OCD. Objective The aim of this study was to assess the implementation of a standardized cognitive remediation program, Goal Management Training (GMT), in a pilot sample of individuals with OCD. Method Nineteen individuals with a primary DSM-5 diagnosis of OCD were randomized to receive either the 9-week GMT program (active group; n = 10) or to complete a 9-week waiting period (waitlist control; n = 9). Groups were assessed at baseline, post-treatment, and 3-month follow-up. The assessment comprised neuropsychological tasks assessing a variety of cognitive domains, and subjective measures of functioning and of symptom severity. Results The active condition showed significant improvements from baseline to post-treatment on measures of inattention, impulsivity, problem-solving, and organization compared to controls. Moreover, whereas the active group reported a significant improvement in subjective cognition over the course of treatment, no such improvement emerged in the waitlist group over this same period. Neither group showed improvement on indices of depressive, anxiety, or OCD-related symptom severity. Discussion The results of this small pilot investigation indicate that, although promising, this protocol requires several modifications to be best suited for this population. Replication of these findings is awaited, with current results potentially limited by sample characteristics including motivation to seek and complete treatment, and high attrition at 3-month follow-up (n = 6 completers). Trial Registration NCT02502604. (December 7, 2018)

publication date

  • December 2020