The efficacy of brief strategic therapy in treating obsessive-compulsive disorder: a case series: Brief strategic therapy and OCD

The efficacy of brief strategic therapy in treating obsessive-compulsive disorder: a case series

Brief strategic therapy and OCD


  • Luca Proietti Indipendent researcher
  • Andrea Aguglia a:1:{s:5:"en_US";s:19:"UNIVERSITY OF GENOA";}
  • Andrea Amerio
  • Alessandra Costanza
  • Fabio Fesce University of Genoa
  • Luca Magnani University of Genoa
  • Gianluca Serafini
  • Mario Amore


Brief strategic therapy, Obsessive-compulsive disorder, Treatment, Psychotherapy, Remission


Background and aim: International guidelines indicate pharmacological therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) as gold standard treatments for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, up to 40% patients do not fully respond to CBT, thus manifesting persistent symptomatology. Empirical research reported brief strategic therapy (BST) as a potential treatment for OCD. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the efficacy of BST in treating OCD and to identify the clinical characteristics associated to response.

Methods: BST protocol was administered to patients with OCD. During a 24-weeks observational phase, the following scales have been administered at the baseline and every 4 weeks: Yale Brown Obsessive-Compulsive scale (Y-BOCS), Clinical Global Impression, Global Assessment of Functioning, Quality of Life Index, Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 12-item, Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation-Outcome Measure, Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale, Patient Health Questionnaire - 9 and Somatic Symptom Scale-8.

Results: eight patients completed the treatment and a subgroup of five patients obtained clinical remission, defined as Y-BOCS total score < 25. The repeated measures ANOVA performed showed a significant decreased of the Y-BOCS total scores (p<.001). Comparisons between the two subgroups (remitters vs. non-remitters) highlighted some potential baseline characteristics associated with remission: i.e., higher mean level of anxiety, quality of life, physical health, and lower mean level of somatic symptoms and lower prevalence of personality disorders comorbidity.

Conclusions: BST could be a useful therapeutic strategy in treating OCD patients. Further studies with larger samples and with long-term follow-up are needed to assess the post-treatment maintenance of clinical effects.

Author Biographies

Luca Proietti, Indipendent researcher

Luca Proietti is an indipendent research with main interest fosused on obsessive-compulsive disorder and non-pharmacological treatment. To note, he is expert in brief strategic therapy that can be applied in several other psychiatric disorders, such as anorexia or other anxieety disorders. 

Fabio Fesce, University of Genoa

Fabio Fesce is attending the second year of specialization in psychiatry at University of Genoa, Department of Neuroscience, Rehablitation, Ophthalmology, Genetics, Maternal and Child Health, Section of Psychiatry. His main interests are obsessive-compulsive disorder and mood disorders. 

Luca Magnani, University of Genoa

Luca Magnani is a resident in Psychiatry, he is attending the four year of specialization at Department of Neuroscience, Rehabilitation, Ophthalmology, Genetics, maternal and Child Health, section of Psychiatry, University of Genoa. His main interests are ultra-high risk for psychosis and trajectories of illness.



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The efficacy of brief strategic therapy in treating obsessive-compulsive disorder: a case series: Brief strategic therapy and OCD. Acta Biomed [Internet]. 2022 Sep. 22 [cited 2024 Jun. 13];93(S1):e2022271. Available from:

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