Is sensory processing sensitivity related to treatment outcome in concentrated exposure and response prevention treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder?
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJournal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders. 2019, 23:100486 1-7. 10.1016/j.jocrd.2019.100486
It has been debated whether concentrated exposure and response prevention (ERP) is too difficult to tolerate for some patients. This report therefore uses quality assurance data looking into whether sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) affects treatment outcome among patients with OCD. SPS is a personality trait regarding heightened levels of emotional reactivity and deeper cognitive processing of emotional stimuli. Patients received concentrated exposure treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). They were assessed with one of the most widely used questionnaires for measuring SPS, the Highly Sensitive Person Scale (HSPS). Analyses tested whether HSPS scores at pre-treatment affected treatment outcome, and if sensitivity changed from pre-to post-treatment. Results revealed there was no significant relation between sensitivity and treatment outcome after controlling for pre-treatment levels of OCD, depression, and anxiety. HSPS scores were significantly reduced after treatment (d = 1.22). This indicates that concentrated ERP is suitable also for patients scoring high on HSPS, and the main conclusion is that patients’ sensitivity does not hinder treatment response.