New research: Sudden gains in internet CBT for OCD

A new study from the Karolinska Institutet shows that patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder who show “sudden gains” during internet CBT treatment yield better treatment effects, comparted to those who did not have sudden gains, or where “gradual gainers”. A sudden gain is a significant, large improvement of the patients’ symptoms that happens during a short period of time. Patients that showed sudden gains had less OCD symptoms by the end of treatment and during long-term follow-up, compared to those without sudden gains.

The blue line shows that sudden gainers had a bigger decline of OCD symptoms. Figure reprint with permission of Elsevier.

These results could help researchers and clinicians to make better prognoses of who is likely to benefit from treatment and which patients need more support in order to reach optimal treatment effect.

If you are interested in reading the full article than you can download a free copy until February 19th here!

First author on this article is Adel Abu Hamdeh, I am coauthor and Erik Andersson is last author.

Hamdeh, A. A., Bjureberg, J., Lenhard, F., Hedman-Lagerlöf, E., Flygare, O., Lundström, L., … Andersson, E. (2019). Sudden gains in internet-based cognitive behavior therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder. Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, 21, 75–81.

2 thoughts on “New research: Sudden gains in internet CBT for OCD

  1. How does one get access to the ICBT program for adolescents? I know of someone who really needs this treatment and is in a rural area.


    1. Hello Nicki!
      The ICBT program for children and adolescents is, yet, only available within research projects. We have one currently ongoing in Stockholm, Sweden, however not including any new patients. We know that there many like your friend out there, kids with OCD who are living far from specialized clinics, and I know the reserachers are therefore working hard to get the studies done, and make ICBT available to the public. Unfortunately, good quality research and development of effective ICBT takes time. I would guess that the implementation of ICBT for pediatric OCD is 1 to 2 years away, still, in Sweden. Probably too long for your friend to wait for, I am afraid. Until that, trying to find a specialized clinician, trained in CBT for OCD is still the first-hand option.


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