International Journal of Cognitive Therapy

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 31–43 | Cite as

Anxiety Sensitivity, Obsessive Beliefs, and the Prediction of CBT Treatment Outcome for OCD

  • Danielle Katz
  • Judith M. Laposa
  • Neil A. Rector
Advancements in Cognitive-Behavioral Modeling and Treatment of OCD


Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) although a significant proportion of clients remain symptomatic following treatment. Knowledge regarding individual differences that influence treatment response could help guide future augmentations to CBT. The current study examined two potential predictors of treatment response to CBT for OCD: anxiety sensitivity and obsessive beliefs. Participants (n = 93) with a primary diagnosis of OCD completed measures of anxiety sensitivity (Anxiety Sensitivity Index (ASI); Reiss et al. in Behaviour Research and Therapy, 24(1), 1–8, 1986) and obsessive beliefs (Obsessive Belief Questionnaire (OBQ): OCCWG in Behaviour Research and Therapy, 35(7), 667–681, 1997, 39(8), 987–1006, 2001) before engaging in a course of group CBT for OCD. Obsessive-compulsive symptom severity was measured (Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale; Goodman et al. in Archives of General Psychiatry, 46(11), 1012–1016, 1989a, 1006–1011, 1989b) before and upon treatment completion. Results indicated a significant two-way interaction, whereby elevated ASI-Physical scores by elevated OBQ-Importance/Control significantly predicted higher post-treatment symptom severity. These results have implications for the cognitive modeling of OCD and its treatment with CBT.


Obsessive-compulsive disorder Cognitive behavioral therapy Anxiety sensitivity Obsessive beliefs 



We would like to acknowledge the contributions of Jane Yating Ding, Argie Gingoyon, and Michelle Li.


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Copyright information

© International Association of Cognitive Psychotherapy 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Danielle Katz
    • 1
  • Judith M. Laposa
    • 2
    • 3
  • Neil A. Rector
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Sunnybrook Research Institute, Sunnybrook Health Sciences CentreTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada

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