Reaching reliable clinical change using short, daily, cognitive training exercises delivered on a mobile application: The case of Relationship Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (ROCD) symptoms and cognitions in a subclinical cohort
- ROCD is characterized by symptoms pertaining to interpersonal relationships
- ROCD is associated with dyadic distress, depression, and anxiety
- Daily training with a mobile app may reduce ROCD symptoms in subclinical samples
- Mobile app may be effective in university students with ROCD concerns
(Cerea, Ghisi, Bottesi, Carraro, Broggio, & Doron, 2020)
Background: Relationship Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (ROCD) is a disabling presentation of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) centering on interpersonal relationships. The aim of the current randomized control trial (RCT) was to assess the efficacy of short, game like, daily cognitive interventions delivered using a mobile application in reducing subclinical ROCD symptoms and associated phenomena.
Methods: Fifty university students identified as having subclinical levels of ROCD symptoms (using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-5 Clinical Version) were randomized in two groups: immediate-use group (iApp group; n = 25); delayed-use group (dApp group; n = 25). Participants in the iApp group started using a cognitive-behavioral training application at baseline for 15 days (T0 to T1). Participants in the dApp group commenced using the application at T1 for a period of 15 days (T1 to T2). All participants completed questionnaires at baseline (T0), 15 days from baseline (T1), and 31 days from baseline (T2).
Results: Repeated measure ANOVAs showed significant Group (iApp vs. dApp) × Time (T0 vs. T1) interactions indicating greater decrease on ROCD symptoms, OCD beliefs and social anxiety symptoms, as well as greater self-esteem increase in the iApp group compared to dApp group at T1. Moreover, analyses using the reliable change index (RCI) indicated reliable change for a significant portion of participant (42 to 50 percent) on ROCD symptoms.
Limitations: The size of the sample and use of self-report measures limit the generalizability of the results.
Conclusions: Short, daily cognitive training interventions delivered using mobile applications may be useful in reducing subclinical OCD symptoms and associated features.
Cite: Cerea S., Ghisi, M., Bottesi, G., Carraro., T., Broggio, D., & Doron (in press). Reaching reliable change using short, daily, cognitive training exercises delivered on a mobile application: The case of Relationship Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (ROCD) symptoms and cognitions in a subclinical cohort. Journal of Affective Disorders.