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Investigation of the feasibility and acceptability of internet-based, therapist-assisted cognitive-behavioral therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder


A considerable number of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) do not have access to evidence-based treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Barriers to care include low accessibility and high cost of specialized treatment, as well as shame and stigma associated with the disorder. In response to these challenges, researchers from Karolinska Institutet (Sweden) have developed an internet-based CBT protocol (iCBT), with 60% of participants showing clinically significant improvement in multiple studies. iCBT has several advantages compared to conventional CBT: it can overcome geographical barriers through remote delivery, and save costs by requiring only 1/4 of therapist's time. However, implementing iCBT in developing countries can be challenging due to issues such as low-speed connectivity, poor e-literacy, and low socioeconomic status. This study aims to test the acceptance and feasibility of the iCBT protocol in a Brazilian sample of 35 adult OCD patients. Assessments will occur at baseline, every two weeks during treatment, at the end of treatment and after 3 and 12 months after treatment. We hypothesize that iCBT for OCD is feasible and effective in Brazil and well accepted by patients and practitioners. This study will inform the design of a future controlled trial to demonstrate efficacy, and is the first step in introducing iCBT in Brazil, with the potential to reach more patients at a lower cost compared to CBT in its traditional format. (AU)

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