Studies have shown that pharmacological and psychological treatments are effective for children and adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, few network meta-analyses have examined whether pharmacological or psychological treatments on their own, or combined, are most effective.
We conducted a database search and selected randomized controlled trials of pharmacological or psychological treatments, alone or in combination, for children and adolescents with OCD. The primary outcome was change in symptom severity as a result of treatment, as assessed using the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (YBOCS) or Children's Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (CY-BOCS).
We included 18 studies with 1353 participants and 12 kinds of treatments. In terms of efficacy, all pharmacological and psychotherapy treatments were more effective than placebo. Among the 12 treatments, the efficacy of pharmacological treatment combined with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) was more effective than pharmacological treatment alone. When pharmacological treatment was used alone, escitalopram was significantly more effective than clomipramine (CY-BOCS average change 3.42; 95% CI 2.11, 4.65), fluvoxamine (CY-BOCS average change 3.59; 95% CI 1.09, 6.20), paroxetine (CY-BOCS average change 2.80; 95% CI 0.01, 5.64) and sertraline (CY-BOCS average change 3.49; 95% CI 1.53, 5.64).
The available evidence suggests that the combination of pharmacological and psychological treatment is likely to be most effective for children and adolescents with OCD. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Ltd
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