Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a behavior disorder characterized by recurrent, intense thoughts and repetitive ritualistic acts. Treatments for obsessive compulsive disorder typically consist of either exposure and response prevention or pharmacotherapy. particularly benzodiazepines. Combinations of these two types of treatment could lead to three possible outcomes. First, the combination of exposure and response prevention and benzodiazepines may show no better results than exposure and response prevention alone. Second, combination therapy may result in a better effect than exposure and response prevention alone--the drug will decrease anxiety during exposure without increasing the relapse rate after treatment. Third, combination therapy could have worse effects than exposure and response prevention alone by increasing the rate of relapse through state-dependent learning--Iearning occurring during the drugged state does not transfer to the non-drugged state. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of the combination of exposure and response prevention with the benzodiazepine alprazolam using a single-subject design. This design alternated between exposure and response prevention plus alprazolam and exposure and response prevention alone. The results of this study show that the alprazolam condition did not differ from the placebo condition. suggesting that alprazolam did not function effectively to reduce the subject's anxiety.
Reinlasoder '94, Julie A., "A Pilot Study on the Use of Alprazolam-Assisted Exposure and Response Prevention in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder" (1994). Honors Projects. Paper 60.