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Dipl.-Psych. Marit Hauschildt

Prof. Dr. Steffen Moritz

Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie

Martinistr. 52

20246 Hamburg

Tel.: 040 7410-57539

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Effectiveness of a metacognitive self-help program for persons with obsessive-compulsive disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorders, with a lifetime prevalence of 2-3%, are much more widespread than has long been assumed (Abramowitz, 2006). Only approx. 40% of those affected seek active help (Kohn et al., 2004) and do so with an average delay of 7-10 years (Hollander et al., 1996). For this reason, obsessive-compulsive disorder is also described as a "secret illness". In view of the low utilisation of the psychological-psychiatric help system, self-help measures are being attributed with increasing importance in the treatment of OCD.


A straightforward online investigation should evaluate the effectiveness of a metacognitive self-help manual for OCD patients developed by the applicants, "Metacognitive Training" (MyMKT), which has already proved to be effective in the short term in a pilot study (Moritz et al., 2010), compared to an active control group (psychoeducation). The self-help manual contains tried and tested cognitive-behavioural-therapeutic and more recent metacognitive techniques. In addition to a pre-post investigation interval of four weeks, a six-month follow-up is planned. Beyond an online survey using reliable self-assessment instruments, at all investigation time points, a verification of the OCD diagnosis and symptom severity ensues through clinical interviews conducted over the telephone. The primary outcome parameter is a decrease in OCD symptoms. Further aims consist in the improvement of quality of life as well as an increase in therapy motivation.


Since the beginning of project funding in February 2011, the study has been in the concrete preparation phase. The current work steps include the setting up, testing and maintenance of the online survey, the digital processing and provision of the intervention materials, training of our employees to implement the clinical interviews as well as measures for the recruitment of study participants. The beginning of the data collection (criterion: inclusion of the first participant) is planned for mid-May.

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