Remission status after long-term sertraline treatment of pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder

Karen Dineen Wagner, Edwin H. Cook, Henry Chung, Michael Messig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Background: Despite its high chronicity, few studies have evaluated the effectiveness of long-term treatment for pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The goal of the current analysis is to evaluate remission among children and adolescents with OCD treated with sertraline for 12 months. Methods: Children (6-12 years old, n = 72) and adolescents (13-18 years old, n = 65) with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (third edition, revised) OCD, who had completed a 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled sertraline study, were administered open-label sertraline 50-200 mg for 52 weeks. Full remission was defined by a Children's Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (CY-BOCS) score of 8 or less, and partial remission was defined as a CY-BOCS score of 15 or less. Results: Using an last observation carried forward analysis, 47% of patients achieved a full remission, and an additional 25% achieved a partial remission. Among study completers, full remission was achieved by 55% of patients and partial remission by 31%. Two thirds of patients with severe OCD at baseline (CY-BOCS of 26 or greater) achieved full or partial remission. Children were more likely to achieve a full remission than adolescents. Conclusion: Sertraline is effective in the treatment of childhood and adolescent OCD, with initial acute response converting to remission and improved functional status in a substantial proportion of patients. More research is needed to develop pharmacologic and psychotherapeutic strategies that facilitate the achievement of full remission in the remaining patients suffering from this chronic and disabling illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S53-S60
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Remission status after long-term sertraline treatment of pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this