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Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Project




Compulsive hoarding-Treatment-Evaluation, Self-help groups-Evaluation, Hoarding disorder, Self-help, Support group, Follow-up study


Hoarding Disorder is characterized by the acquisition of, and difficulty discarding, seemingly useless objects, combined with excessive clutter that precludes the use of one's home. Treatments for the disorder are not accessible to many individuals because of low availability and high cost. A preliminary study of a 13-session biblio-based self-help support group facilitated by paraprofessionals indicated that self-help support is a viable cost-effective option (Frost, Pekareva-Kochergina, and Maxner, 2010). The 13-week support group program promoted significant change in hoarding behaviors, although completers were not symptom-free. The purposes of the present study were to examine the long-term effects of the initial program and the effectiveness of additional sessions in encouraging further reductions in hoarding symptoms. Twelve individuals who completed the initial program agreed to participate in the present study. Results revealed that hoarding symptoms remained stable from the conclusion of the initial program to the commencement of the present program, however, global severity significantly increased. Hoarding cognition scores significantly decreased from pre-treatment to follow-up. Furthermore, participants indicated reductions in global severity. However, hoarding behaviors did not significantly change over the course of the group. The lack of change in hoarding behavior raises questions about the utility of a follow-up self-help support group.




37 p. Honors Project-Smith College, Northampton, Mass., 2010. Includes bibliographical references (p. 30-34)