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OCD study searching more Manchester volunteers.

Organisers of a pioneering research study that looks into how effective certain self-help methods are for treating obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), are searching for more Manchester residents with the condition who are currently waiting to be treated, to volunteer and take part in the study.

OCD is a chronic mental health condition that can affect anyone and usually starts in late adolescence. Through obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviour, it can make people anxious and unhappy, as well as interfere with everyday activities such as employment, social activities and family relationships.

The Obsessive Compulsive Treatment Efficacy Trial (OCTET) is one of the leading studies for researching psychological therapies in the UK with over 300 participants taking part since its inception in 2011. The study, which recruits volunteers from across the country, aims to gather evidence from a wide selection of people to further understand individual experiences of OCD.

The trial, which is being carried out by The University of Manchester and uses Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust as one of its 20 sites and is funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment (NIHR HTA), is aiming to determine if two self-help treatments for OCD are effective in the short and long term with the ultimate goal of improving the lives of those who have the condition.

Professor Karina Lovell, who is a non-executive director for the Trust and a researcher for The University of Manchester, is leading the project. She explained how the study could benefit those who have the illness in the future.

“OCD is a common mental health disorder that affects 3% of the population and our aim is to improve interventions and assessments to benefit those with the condition and their families. We know that latest guidelines recommend that people with OCD receive a form of psychological help, or talking treatment, called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT),” says Professor Lovell. “The study is testing two types of self-help treatments over a 12 week period and we want to see how effective they are for the patient, which treatment they prefer and how satisfied they are. Through this learning we can develop the therapies in the future.”

The self-help methods that are being tested are computerised CBT which uses an online treatment package with telephone and face-to-face support from a mental health professional while the other method uses a self-help book that also utilises guidance from a professional.

“To be eligible for the trial, participants must currently be waiting for CBT treatment for their OCD,” added Professor Lovell. “A minimum of 432 patients with OCD will be recruited into the trial by 2014 with results being released in 2015.”

For more information on how to take part in the study, please contact Dr Judith Gellatly, OCTET Trial Manager at The University of Manchester by emailing