Identifying predictors of treatment outcome can guide treatment selection and optimize use of resources. In patients affected by obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), perfectionism has emerged as one possible predictor, with some data suggesting that cognitive-behavioral therapy outcomes are poorer for more perfectionistic patients. Findings so far are inconsistent, however, and research has yet to be extended to newer treatment approaches.
We administered measures of concern over mistakes, clinical perfectionism, as well as OCD and depression symptom severity to a sample of OCD patients in out-patient group treatments (N = 61), namely, metacognitive training (MCT-OCD) or mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) for OCD. Hierarchical data over time was submitted to multi-level analysis.
Neither concern over mistakes nor clinical perfectionism at baseline predicted OCD symptoms across time points. However, concern over mistakes at baseline did significantly predict comorbid depressive symptoms. Furthermore, exploratory analysis revealed change in clinical perfectionism during treatment as a predictor of OCD symptoms at follow-up.
These results suggest that initial concern over mistakes may not prevent patients with OCD from benefitting from third-wave treatments. Change in clinical perfectionism may present a putative process of therapeutic change. Limitations and avenues for future research are discussed.