Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type

Chapman access only poster or presentation

Publication Date

Spring 5-9-2018

Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Steven Schandler


Objective: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a chronic and life-altering psychiatric illness reported to affect 2.3% of the global population. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and therapeutic medications are the common treatments for OCD. While effective, the nature and length of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and medication side effects restrict the application of these treatments. Therefore, there is a need to research other therapies that will be acceptable to a wider range of people. One recently reported, highly successful treatment is brain stimulation therapy. Specifically, Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) has been successful in treating symptoms of depression and anxiety. The purpose of this thesis was to evaluate rTMS as a potential form of treatment for OCD.

Method: It was hypothesized that an adult diagnosed with OCD who receives rTMS for 2-12 weeks, they will experience a greater reduction of OCD symptoms than an OCD adult who receives a non-electrically stimulating treatment. This study applied a meta-analytical evaluation of current treatment literature to test the hypothesis.

Results and Conclusions: Overall, the findings supported the hypothesis that, compared to other treatments rTMS is a successful form of treating OCD symptoms. This experimental form of treatment provided participants with a quick speed of effect and few side effects. However, the clarity of the findings was reduced due to the lack of adequate comparison or control groups in some studies. Future research with larger sample sizes, control conditions, and consistency in treatments being received by participants is needed to achieve more definitive conclusions.


Presented at the Spring 2018 Student Research Day at Chapman University.

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