02:25am Tuesday 17 October 2017

Online program to combat OCD

Dr Cynthia Turner from the School of Psychologysaid the 12-week program addressed a debilitating condition for young people, who often avoided seeking help due to embarrassment and lack of awareness.

“If your son or daughter has distressing worries and habits that interfere with their lives, and which they find difficult to stop, it can become chronic if left untreated,” Dr Turner said.

“Are they fussy about keeping their hands clean? Do they find themselves checking, touching or counting things when there is no need to? Do they worry if something isn’t exactly as they like?

“OCD is a recognised disorder that affects up to one in 50 young people, but there are effective treatments.”

Dr Turner’s team is currently seeking children aged 12-17 for online Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, which has proved successful internationally.

Participants and parents can access treatment in the privacy of their own home, supported by a clinical psychologist who specialises in treating adolescent OCD.

“Internet delivery means we can overcome the shortage of qualified clinicians, as well as the time, geographical and financial constraints that often limit access to specialist help,” Dr Turner said.

“Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is the recommended first-line treatment for young people with mild to moderate OCD.

“Previous research has already demonstrated that internet-based treatments are an effective means of treating OCD, depression and anxiety in adults.”

The UQ program will be an English-language version of a successful program in Sweden.

To enquire about participation please contact Dr Turner at Cynthia.turner@uq.edu.au

Media: Elizabeth Knoetze +61 437 929 143, Elizabeth.knoetze@uq.net.au


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