Thursday, January 7, 2010

Delivery of internet treatment for compulsive hoarding (D.I.T.C.H.)

By: Jordana Muroffa, , Gail Steketeea, Joe Himleb and Randy Frostc

Available online 17 September 2009.


This study tested the effectiveness of an existing private online CBT-based group intervention designed to help people with hoarding. Web-group participants were hypothesized to show more improvement in hoarding symptoms over time compared to those placed on a naturalistic waitlist. This web-based self-help group (N = 106 members, N = 155 waitlisted) includes a formal application process and requires that participants post action steps and progress at least once monthly. Members have access to educational resources on hoarding, cognitive strategies, and a chat-group. Potential research participants were invited to complete an anonymous web-based survey about their hoarding behaviors and clinical improvement on five occasions (3 months apart). The sample was mainly middle-aged, female and White. Regression analyses show that Recent members reported greater improvement and less clutter at 6 months (than Waitlist). Long-term members reported milder hoarding symptoms than Recent ones, suggesting benefits from group participation over time. All members showed reductions in clutter and hoarding symptoms over 15 months. Less posting activity was associated with greater hoarding severity. Online CBT-based self-help for hoarding appears to be a promising intervention strategy that may extend access to treatment. Evaluating the benefits of internet self-help groups is critical given growing popularity of and demand for web-based interventions..." More

a Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA

b University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA

c Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063, USA