Obsessive Beliefs Predict Cognitive Behavior Therapy Outcome for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Thomas G. Adams, Bradley C. Riemann, Chad T. Wetterneck, Josh M. Cisler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Cognitive accounts of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) assert that core beliefs are crucial to the development, maintenance, and treatment of the disorder. There are a number of obsessive beliefs that are considered fundamental to OCD, including personal responsibility, threat estimation, perfectionism, need for certainty, importance of thoughts, and thought control. The present study investigated if pretreatment severity of obsessive beliefs, as well as the change in obsessive beliefs following treatment, predicted intensive, residential cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) treatment outcome. A series of hierarchical regression analyses were carried out to investigate the relations between obsessive beliefs and treatment outcome. Results indicated that inflated pretreatment responsibility/threat estimation beliefs were significantly related to less overall obsessive compulsive (OC) symptom reduction at discharge, explaining 2% of the overall variance. Changes in obsessive beliefs broadly, and importance/control of thoughts specifically, were positively related to overall OC symptom reduction at discharge, respectively explaining 18% and 3.6% variance. Results are modestly consistent with a number of theoretical models, which argue that inflated responsibility, threat estimation, and thought control are important to the maintenance and treatment of OCD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-211
Number of pages9
JournalCognitive Behaviour Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • cognition
  • cognitive behavior therapy
  • obsessive compulsive disorder
  • residential
  • treatment outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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