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"Association Splitting" Compared With Cognitive Remediation (CR) in Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD): a Randomized Controlled Trial

18 Years
65 Years
Open (Enrolling)
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

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Trial Information

"Association Splitting" Compared With Cognitive Remediation (CR) in Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD): a Randomized Controlled Trial

Association splitting is a new cognitive technique which aims at reducing obsessive
thoughts. It draws upon the so-called "fan effect" of associative priming. Transposing this
principle to the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), we hypothesized that the
sprouting of new and the strengthening of existing neutral associations to core OCD
cognitions will reduce their fear-evoking properties by depriving the chain of OCD-related
cognitions of associative strength. Patients with OCD are randomly allocated to either
associations splitting (AS) or cognitive remediation (CogPack training). Blind to treatment
assignment, both groups are assessed before intervention and eight weeks as well as six
months later with the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS), the
Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory (OCI-R) and cognitive tests. OCD severity derived from the
Y-BOCS and the OCI-R serves as the main outcome parameters. We also explore if AS changes
the OCD-related semantic networks with cognitive tasks. It is assumed that association
splitting will improve OCD severity to a greater extent than CogPack training.

Inclusion Criteria:

- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) with an Y-BOCS obsession subscore ‚Č• 8

Exclusion Criteria:

- intellectual disability (IQ < 70); unable to provide informed consent; severe
neurological illness, psychotic symptoms or substance dependence.

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment

Outcome Measure:

Total score of the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS)

Outcome Time Frame:

8 weeks, 6 months

Safety Issue:


Principal Investigator

Lena Jelinek, PhD

Investigator Role:

Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation:

Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf


Germany: Ministry of Health

Study ID:

JE 540/3-1



Start Date:

March 2009

Completion Date:

December 2011

Related Keywords:

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • OCD
  • obsessions
  • cognitive
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Compulsive Personality Disorder