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Use of Cognitive Bias Modification (CBM) as Part of Treatment for OCD within a Residential Treatment Setting

Starting Date: 11/16

Research Objective

The first study of its kind, researchers will investigate an idiographic version (individualized version) of attention retraining on a hand held device for its usefulness as a residential treatment enhancement tool for OCD. 

Participants/Pre-Screening Criteria

  • Rogers will recruit approximately 60 adults who are in treatment at Rogers Behavioral Health’s OCD Residential Treatment Center in Oconomowoc to volunteer for this study.
  • Half of the participants will be assigned to an active group for the enhanced treatment, the other half will be placed in a placebo group.


  • This is a double-blind study in which neither the participants nor the researchers know who is receiving treatment and who is part of the placebo group. This procedure prevents bias in research results.
  • Within 48 hours following admission to the Treatment Center, each participant meets with a member of the research team for training and to begin using the iPhone application.
  • The participant will have a clinical interview, to determine a baseline in OCD symptoms and create words to be used in the app, with a member of our research staff.
  • The content (word choices for display on the iPhone application) is individualized for each participant, with a selection of 24 neutral words and 24 words that the participant perceives as threatening.
  • Participants meet individually with a member of the research team each weekday during their residential stay to use the CBM iPhone application. Bi-weekly and final assessments regarding a variety of mental health symptoms, including those for anxiety and depression will also take place.


  • Only key research personnel will have access to the encrypted data files and will conduct the analysis using this information.
  • Researchers will compare the active and placebo groups to assess if the iPhone application was successful in producing a greater reduction in symptoms for people who are also currently receiving treatment for OCD.
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