Phenomenology and treatment outcomes in children and adolescents from ethnic minorities with obsessive-compulsive disorder.


Despite a similar prevalence of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) across ethnic groups, ethnic minorities with the disorder are under-represented in clinical services and in clinical trials. Therefore, it is uncertain whether empirically validated treatments are effective for these minority groups. We assessed whether the clinical presentation and response to multimodal treatment differed in White and non-White youths with OCD. Participants were 204 patients assessed and treated at a national specialist pediatric OCD clinic. White (N = 169) and non-White (N = 35) children and adolescents were compared on socio-demographic and clinical characteristics at baseline. OCD severity measures were administered before and after protocol-driven cognitive-behavior therapy with or without concomitant SRI medication. Mixed model analyses of covariance compared treatment outcomes in both groups. The clinical presentation was remarkably similar in White and non-White patients. Both groups received a similar number of CBT sessions and similar proportions were on concomitant SRI medication. Both groups improved similarly with treatment and similar proportions were classed as responders and remitters. Youths from ethnic minorities with OCD are indistinguishable from their White counterparts in nearly every respect and seem to respond equally well to evidence-based treatment. Efforts should be made to ensure that patients from ethnic minorities have access to treatment.