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Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Olfactory Reference Disorder (ORD): A case study

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Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders
Early online date20 Feb 2017
Accepted/In press4 Feb 2017
E-pub ahead of print20 Feb 2017


King's Authors


Olfactory Reference Disorder (ORD) is preoccupation with the belief that one is emitting a foul odour. It can be a distressing and substantially impairing problem. However, very little is known about its successful treatment. This study describes the treatment of a 38-year-old female with longstanding ORD using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Case conceptualisation focused on identifying unhelpful beliefs and maintaining factors including safety-seeking behaviours, self-focus and avoidance. These were then targeted using a variety of techniques including discussion and behavioural experiments to facilitate belief and behaviour change. Following a 12-week treatment, measures of anxiety and depression reduced to below clinical thresholds. In addition, there were reductions on a specific measure of symptoms of ORD. Issues regarding the use of CBT to treat this particular disorder are considered.

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