Background - UK National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) specify recommendations for the treatment and management of OCD using a stepped care approach. Steps three to six of this model recommend treatment options for people with OCD that range from low-intensity guided self-help (GSH) to more intensive psychological and pharmacological interventions. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), including exposure and response prevention, is the recommended psychological treatment. However, whilst there is some preliminary evidence that self-managed therapy packages for OCD can be effective, a more robust evidence base of their clinical and cost effectiveness and acceptability is required.
Methods/Design - Our proposed study will test two different self-help treatments for OCD: 1) computerised CBT (cCBT) using OCFighter, an internet-delivered OCD treatment package; and 2) GSH using a book. Both treatments will be accompanied by email or telephone support from a mental health professional. We will evaluate the effectiveness, cost and patient and health professional acceptability of the treatments.
Discussion - This study will provide more robust evidence of efficacy, cost effectiveness and acceptability of self-help treatments for OCD. If cCBT and/or GSH prove effective, it will provide additional, more accessible treatment options for people with OCD.