Hoarding Disorder is an obsessive-compulsive related disorder characterized by a difficulty to discard possessions. This makes the home cluttered and dangerous to live in. Hoarding disorder is also very hard to treat, which is why I’m excited to tell you about a new study from our lab! We just published an article describing a group CBT treatment with between-sessions internet-based support for Hoarding Disorder in the Journal of Clinical Psychology.
The study included 20 participants that received 16 sessions of group CBT. Throughout treatment, participants were encouraged to sort and discard personal items. The treatment also included motivation enhancement and executive skills trainig, among other things.
In-between sessions, the participants had access to an online support-system where they could upload pictures of their home to review progress in descarding things. A group therapist was also available through a messaging system on the platform.
We used a self-rated questionnaire on hoarding difficulties (Saving Inventory - Revised) as the main outcome measure and were able to demonstrate large reductions in hoarding difficulties (Cohen’s d pre-post was 1.57). Patients also rated the Hoarding Rating Scale on a weekly basis and the changes during treatment are shown below.
We conclude that group CBT combined with internet-support is a promising treatment option for individuals with hoarding disorder. The treatment should be evaluated in a randomised controlled trial.