In this pilot we wanted to evaluate the efficacy of the AFOP method in treating OCD. We hypothesized that clients would show significant improvements in OCD symptoms after a period of minimum 3 months and maximum 2.5 years of treatment with the AFOP method.
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Data were collected for 33 participants, 22 male and 11 female. All participants were between the age of 14 and 53 years old.
Participants were required to provide data on the length of previous treatments, the onset of their OCD, as well as length of the treatment at IPITIA (this was confirmed with our client administration software Salucenter).
The participants were recruited from our center IPITIA after a minimum of 3 months of treatment with the AFOP method for their obsessive-compulsive disorder.
The data that was gathered was provided by a self-evaluation questionnaire designed by IPITIA, called the “Escala de Auto-Evaluación” (Self-Evaluation Questionnaire).
The questionnaire inquires patients about the severity of their OCD symptoms at the start of the treatment at IPITIA (0-100; “100” being the most severe and “0” being no symptoms at all) and the current level of severity (0-100). The questionnaire also asks patients to evaluate how different the AFOP method is according to other psychological treatments for OCD on a Likert Scale from “1” is (completely different) to “5” (very similar). Furthermore patients are asked whether they are hopeful in getting cured completely from their OCD symptoms (1=”Yes”, 2=”No”, 3= “I’m not sure”) as well as why (open-ended question).
Finally, patients are asked if they know what lifestyle they have to live in order to overcome OCD (1=”Yes”, 2=”Partly”, 3=“No”,)
A Repeated Measures T-Test was conducted to see if participants showed a reduction in severity of symptoms from the pre-treatment level (Previous level) to the first evaluation (Actual level). There was a reduction in the severity of symptoms from the Previous level (M = 86.52, SE = 12.15, till the Actual level (M = 28.97, SE = 13.52). The reduction was significant (M = 57.55, SE = 18.72, p < 0.0001.
This means that participants went down 57.55 points on average on the scale of symptom severity, an important improvement. On average participants were at 28.97 points (Actual level), as opposed to 86.52 at the start of the treatment.
The AFOP method was considered to be between “very much different” and completely different from other treatments for OCD (M = 1.79, SE = 0.79).
Most people were hopeful in getting cured completely (N = 28, 84.4%), 2 participants were not hopeful (6.1%) and 3 were not sure (9.1%).
People mentioned the following reasons why they were hopeful:
- “I belief in my therapist, the method and my own capabilities to overcome this”.
- “Because I already made many advances and the therapy feels very different”.
- “Because my anxiety is reducing”.
- “Because the improvement has been very big and with my previous therapist I hadn’t made any progress”.
- “I feel secure. The therapists are good professionals. Proximity. Intelligence”.
- “Because I’ve experienced moments without any anxiety”.
The people who were not hopeful or unsure mentioned the following reasons:
- “Because when I feel good I think I can but when I feel bad I think I can’t”.
- “I have difficulties believing it”.
- “Because sometimes I still feel some anxiety”.
- “Not completely, but to 5% of what it was yes”.
- “Because I’ve suffered from this for 14 years”.
Most people knew what lifestyle they had to live in order to overcome OCD completely (N = 23, 69.7%), 8 participants knew partly (24.2%), 1 didn´t know (3%) and 1 person failed to fill out this question.
These are our pilot results previous to a more formal research approach. We’re currently conducting a structured internal investigation in which we measure the initial severity of the symptoms with a structured and validated questionnaire, the STAI, as well as standardized repeated measures every 3 months until the end of treatment.
Furthermore, we’re currently in contact with the University of Barcelona to set up a continued investigation into the validity and efficacy of the AFOP method.