Mataix-Cols2016 - Towards an international expert consensus for defining treatment response, remission, recovery and relapse in obsessive-compulsive disorder

  • Type:#article
  • Year read:#read2021
  • Subject: OCD Y-BOCS CGI
  • Bibtex: @mataix-cols2016
  • Bibliography: Mataix-Cols, David, et al. “Towards an International Expert Consensus for Defining Treatment Response, Remission, Recovery and Relapse in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.” World Psychiatry, vol. 15, no. 1, 2016, pp. 80–81, doi:10.1002/wps.20299.

Example citation

Treatment response is defined as a 35% or higher reduction in OCD symptoms on the Y-BOCS, and a CGI-I score of 1 or 2 [@mataix-cols2016].

Remission is defined as an Y-BOCS score of 12 or lower, and a CGI-S score of 1 or 2 [@mataix-cols2016].

Key takeaways

  • Treatment response: ≥ 35% reduction on Y-BOCS and CGI-I of 1 or 2
  • Remission: ≤ 12 on Y-BOCS and CGI-S of 1 or 2

Marked inconsistencies exist in how treatment response, remission, recovery and relapse are defined in clinical trials for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This impairs the comparability of results and communication in the field. Empirical methods (e.g., signal detection analyses) have been used to calculate the optimal amount of symptom improvement to classify an individual as a “responder” or “remitter”, both in adults1-4 and children5 with OCD. Unfortunately, this has led to different recommendations.

In summary, agreement was reached on how to define response, remission, recovery and relapse across a range of international professionals with expertise in OCD. We recommend that researchers report their results using these definitions whenever possible. As outlined by Frank et al6, doing so will lead to: a) improved design, interpretation and comparison of clinical trials of various modalities; b) improved communication of research findings between professionals and to the general public; c) improved guidelines for evaluation of clinical efficacy of various treatments by regulatory agencies; and d) development of improved treatment guidelines for clinical practice.