Predictors of treatment response in pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder

Golda S. Ginsburg, Julie Newman Kingery, Kelly L. Drake, Marco A. Grados

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine predictors of treatment response in pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Method: A literature review of psychotherapy (i.e., cognitive-behavioral therapy) and medication studies for pediatric OCD published from 1985 to 2007 was conducted using several databases. Results: The literature search produced a total of 21 studies (6 cognitive-behavioral therapy, 13 medication, and 2 combination studies) that met specific methodological criteria. Across studies, the following nine predictors were examined: child sex, child age, duration of illness/age at onset, baseline severity of obsessive-compulsive symptoms, type of obsessive-compulsive symptoms, comorbid disorders/symptoms, psychophysiological factors, neuropsychological factors, and family factors. Among all of the studies, there was little evidence that sex, age, or duration of illness (age at onset) was associated with treatment response. Baseline severity of obsessive-compulsive symptoms and family dysfunction were associated with poorer response to cognitive-behavioral therapy, whereas comorbid tics and externalizing disorders were associated with poorer response in medication-only studies. Conclusions: Overall, there are limited data on predictors of treatment response for pediatric OCD. The majority of studies are plagued with methodological limitations and post hoc approaches. Additional research is needed to better delineate the predictors of treatment response in pediatric OCD with the goal of developing individualized treatment approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)868-878
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Pediatric
  • Predictors
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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