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The Efficacy of Danger Ideation Reduction Therapy for an 86-Year Old Man with a 63-Year History of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Case Study

Authors: Mairwen K. Jones, Bethany M. Wootton, Lisa D. Vaccaro


While OCD is one of the most commonly occurring psychiatric conditions experienced by older adults, there is a paucity of research conducted into the treatment of older adults with OCD. This case study represents the first published investigation of a cognitive treatment for geriatric OCD. It describes the successful treatment of an 86-year old man with a 63-year history of OCD using Danger Ideation Reduction Therapy (DIRT). The client received 14 individual, 50-minute treatment sessions of DIRT over 13 weeks. Clinician-based Y-BOCS scores reduced 84% from 25 (severe) at pre-treatment, to 4 (subclinical) at 6-month post-treatment follow-up interview, demonstrating the efficacy of DIRT for this client. DIRT may have particular advantages over ERP and pharmacological approaches, however further research is required in older adults with OCD.

Keywords: Cognitive Therapy, Danger Ideation Reduction Therapy, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Older adults, Psychogeriatrics

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