Obsessive Compulsive Disorder during Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): 2- And 6-Month Follow-Ups in a Clinical Trial

Lior Carmi, Oded Ben-Arush, Leah Fostick, Hagit Cohen, Joseph Zohar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Psychiatric patients are perceived to be especially vulnerable during a pandemic, as it increases stress and uncertainty. Several current publications have considered obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) patients to be particularly vulnerable during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and clinicians were advised to adjust treatments accordingly. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the 2- and 6-month impacts of COVID-19 on the symptom severity of OCD patients. Methods: A cohort of OCD patients actively treated with Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) combined with pharmacological treatment was evaluated as part of their regular psychiatric assessment twice: 113 patients were evaluated at their 2-month follow-up and 90 patients (from that cohort) were evaluated at their 6-month follow up. Results: Obsessive-compulsive symptom deterioration was not present in 84% of the patients at the 2-month follow-up and 96% of the patients at the 6-month follow-up. The results were also replicated in the OCD subgroup that included patients with contamination (washers) and illness obsessions, who were believed to be particularly vulnerable considering their obsessional content. Conclusions: OCD patients (including those with obsessions related to contamination and health) who were under active ERP and pharmacological treatment did not experience exacerbated symptoms during COVID-19 at their 2- and 6-month follow-ups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)703-709
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2021


  • CBT
  • COVID-19
  • OCD


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