Learning to tolerate disgust: Behavioral strategies for reducing disgust in obsessive-compulsive symptoms

Last registered on December 14, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Learning to tolerate disgust: Behavioral strategies for reducing disgust in obsessive-compulsive symptoms
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0006032
Initial registration date
June 20, 2020

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
June 22, 2020, 11:48 AM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
December 14, 2020, 8:16 AM EST

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of Bucharest

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
2018-11-28
End date
2020-01-05
Secondary IDs
Abstract
The efficacy of exposure techniques for disgust has been poorly investigated so far. As it turns out, there are some promising, yet still unclear indications of the efficacy of exposure on disgust responses. Thus, the objective of this paper was to investigate the effects of behavioral interventions, compared to the control condition, especially regarding the level of disgust on people with obsessive-compulsive symptoms at post-intervention and follow-up. The efficacy of the two interventions was investigated within a randomized controlled trial. Participants were selected for scoring above the cut-off on a measure of OC symptoms. Thus, three groups were formed, more precisely a control group and two experimental groups (for counterconditioning and US-revaluation interventions). Those allocated in the experimental conditions participated in one intervention session. As a result, the current study has clinical implications, especially in terms of cognitive and behavioral interventions that can be used to decrease disgust in pathological cases.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Pascal, Simona Alexandra. 2020. "Learning to tolerate disgust: Behavioral strategies for reducing disgust in obsessive-compulsive symptoms." AEA RCT Registry. December 14. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6032
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2018-12-06
Intervention End Date
2019-11-29

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
disgust, fear
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Disgust. This variable was measured with The Disgust Scale-Revised (DS-R; Olatunji et al., 2007) in various situations. DS-R includes 25 items; the first 13 items were rated on a dichotomous scale from false (0) to true (1) and the next 12 items were rated on a three-point Likert-type scale ranging from not disgusting (0) to very disgusting (1). An example of an item is “It would bother me tremendously to touch a dead body”. A total disgust score can be calculated by summing responses to the 25 items (0 – 25).
Fear. This variable was measured with Fear Questionnaire (FQ; Marks & Mathews, 1979) through 24 items. An example item is “Walking alone in busy streets”. Participants rated the items on a nine-point Likert-type scale ranging from would not avoid it (0) to always avoid it (8).

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
cognitive errors
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Cognitive errors. This variable was measured with 5 scenarios adapted after The General Cognitive Error Questionnaire (CEQ; Possel, 2009), custom to OC symptoms. It measures how a person misconstrues the significance of events in a negative manner, in the case of disgust. Items were rated on a Likert scale ranging from almost exactly as I think (0) to almost exactly as I did not think (4).

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
To test the efficacy of intervention against the control condition, a 3 (groups: COUNTER versus USREV vs control) x 3 (time: pre vs. post vs. follow-up) mixed design with repeated measures analysis of variance was employed.
Experimental Design Details
To test the efficacy of intervention against the control condition, a 3 (groups: COUNTER versus USREV vs control) x 3 (time: pre vs. post vs. follow-up) mixed design with repeated measures analysis of variance was employed.
Randomization Method
Randomization done using https://www.random.org/
Randomization Unit
One randomization in three groups (control, counterconditioning, US-revaluation).
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
3 groups
Sample size: planned number of observations
114 participants
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
38 participants control, 39 participants counterconditioning, 37 participants US-revaluation
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
January 05, 2020, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
January 05, 2020, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
114 participants
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials