The aim of this randomized controlled trial (RCT) for detecting neurobiological mediators in the treatment of compulsive disorders in children and adolescents the study is to document neurobiological processes and changes during 14 weeks of cognitive behavioral therapy compared to a less effective, active control treatment (relaxation therapy) in children with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
We plan to include 84 children and adolescents that are 13-18 years of age and 42 healthy children in the control group. The participants with obsessive-compulsive disorder are either randomized to participate in the intervention with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or relaxation therapy with equal session frequency for 14 weeks. Our main interest is to identify neuropsychological and neurobiological changes during therapy.
Nevertheless, it appears necessary to clinically demonstrate the different effects of both forms of therapy based on the severity of the disease in an RCT, so that we can illustrate the effect of the factors that are regarded as specific CBT neurobiological mediators. During the fMRI study, the subjects perform a task that requires cognitive control and measures the relationship between cognitive control and habit formation.