Research That Matters (January 17 - 20, 2008)

Friday, January 18, 2008: 8:00 AM-9:45 AM
Empire Ballroom (Omni Shoreham)
[MH] Compulsive Hoarding: Psychopathology and Public Health Issues
Symposium Organizer:Jordana Muroff, PhD, MSW, Boston University
Discussant (Optional):Nancy Morrow-Howell, PhD, Washington University in Saint Louis
Task Forces as a Community Response to Compulsive Hoarding
Christiana Bratiotis, MSW, Gail Steketee, PhD
Treatment Outcomes for Compulsive Hoarding: Pilot and Waitlist-Controlled Trials
Gail Steketee, PhD, Randy O. Frost, PhD, David Tolin, PhD, Cristina M. Sorrentino, PhD, Christiana Bratiotis, MSW, Amanda Gibson, MA, Jessica Rasmussen, MA
Group Cognitive and Behavioral Treatment (Cbt) for Compulsive Hoarding: Processes and Outcomes
Cristina M. Sorrentino, PhD, Jordana Muroff, PhD, MSW, Christiana Bratiotis, MSW, Terrence O. Lewis, MSW, Gail Steketee, PhD
Delivery of Internet Treatment for Compulsive Hoarding (D.I.T.C.H.): Member Versus Waitlist Comparison
Jordana Muroff, PhD, MSW, Gail Steketee, PhD, Joseph Himle, PhD, Randy O. Frost, PhD
Abstract Text:
Hoarding is a serious psychiatric problem that can be life-threatening to the individual as well as the surrounding community in its severe forms. It is estimated that 600,000-1.2 million people in the US suffer from this problem(Saxena, 2003). These numbers are likely underestimates given the growing size of American homes and surges in the use of storage space (Gannon, 2007). Associated with a number of mental disorders, compulsive hoarding is characterized by excessive clutter, difficulty discarding ordinary possessions, and often excessive acquisition (sometimes of animals, as well), causing significant distress and/or impairment. Substantial clutter can lead to health code violations, fire-hazards, evictions, and substantial costs to the family and the community (Frost, Steketee, Williams, 2000). Hoarding is associated with a number of information processing deficits, and sufferers typically lack insight.

Despite the seriousness of this psychiatric problem, there are few empirical and qualitative studies on effective interventions for compulsive hoarding. As a public health concern, hoarding must be addressed at individual, group, community and policy levels. The complex and impairing nature of hoarding, its complex comorbid picture, and poor treatment response suggests a need for novel psychosocial treatment methodologies and innovative community public policies.

Because compulsive hoarding lies in both personal and public domain, it is critical to develop and test the effectiveness of community-, group- and individual-based interventions. This symposium will focus on outcomes for social and individual/group interventions for hoarding, specifically the effectiveness of multidisciplinary community task forces on local community policy as well as individual, group and web-based cognitive behavioral interventions for compulsive hoarding. Ms. Cristina Bratiotis will present data assessing the effects of Task Forces for compulsive hoarding on local community policy. Next, Dr. Gail Steketee will discuss outcome data using standardized measures of hoarding for a specialized form of individual CBT for compulsive hoarding. Dr. Cristina Sorrentino will present on group CBT processes and outcomes for compulsive hoarding. Finally, Dr. Jordana Muroff will present data on short term outcomes and predictors of benefits of a web-based CBT self-help group for compulsive hoarding. These studies employ qualitative and quantitative research methods.

The collective goals of this research team are to generate and disseminate empirically supported interventions and policy recommendations for compulsive hoarding problems, addressing the needs of underserved populations.

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