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Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders




Elsevier BV

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Hoarding symptoms include difficulty letting go of possessions, excessive acquisition, and clutter that precludes use of active living spaces. The current study compared the effects of acceptance training to psychoeducation on hoarding severity in a sample of college students with elevated hoarding symptoms. Participants (N = 47) completed self-report measures at baseline, posttest, and one-week follow-up and an in vivo discarding behavioral task at posttest. There were no differences in self-reported outcomes between conditions over time, suggesting acceptance training was not more effective than psychoeducation. Significant and large effect sizes for hoarding severity and maladaptive hoarding cognitions were found from baseline to one-week follow-up, indicating both interventions improved hoarding symptoms in our sample. There was a medium and marginally significant effect favoring acceptance training for number of items discarded (p = .05). These findings tentatively support the utility of acceptance-based techniques and psychoeducation in the treatment of hoarding. In addition, brief early interventions may be effective for people who present with moderate hoarding severity. Limitations of the study include lack of a true control group to estimate placebo effects, lack of assessment of processes of change, and use of a nonclinical, demographically homogeneous sample.