International Dissemination of Bergen 4-Day Treatment for OCD

Drs. Thröstur Björgvinsson and Bjarne Hansen presented a State-of-the-Art Clinician Session titled, “The Status of International Dissemination of the Bergen 4-Day OCD Treatment: Key Elements of Effective Implementation of the Treatment” at the 2024 Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) Annual Conference, April 11-14, in Boston, Massachusetts.

The Bergen 4-day treatment (B4DT) is a concentrated exposure treatment (cET) where the patient receives individually tailored CBT delivered during four consecutive days. B4DT can be categorized as an individual treatment delivered in a group setting, since the treatment is delivered in groups with 3-6 patients with a 1:1 therapist-patient ratio. The B4DT has proven highly effective for treating obsessive-compulsive disorder, with a very low drop-out rate. Moreover, approximately 70% of patients reported remission at 12-month follow-up. A follow-up study demonstrated that these treatment gains were stable four years after completing treatment. The B4DT approach has received tremendous attention around the world. Notably, in October of 2018, Drs. Bjarne Hansen and Gerd Kvale (the developers of the B4DT) were elected as innovators to be presented on the Time Magazine “The Health Care 50: Fifty People Transforming Health Care in 2018.”

The approach builds on four decades of empirical research and theories about the most effective approach to OCD treatment. The innovation and strength of the work is how it combines the most effective elements of proven treatment into one of the most profound, rapid, and robust treatment approaches that we have seen in recent years. Thus, this approach provides for a truly transformative treatment and it has the potential to meaningfully improve health care delivery in the U.S.

Over 3000 patients with OCD have been effectively treated with the B4DT in Norway during the last decade. Furthermore, over 300 patients with OCD have completed the B4DT in Sweden, Iceland, Germany, Finland, Singapore and the USA. All studies strongly support the effectiveness of this 4-day approach. Future post-pandemic dissemination plans are actively being implemented internationally. To date, teams from Australia, Kenya, and Ecuador have committed to be trained in Los Angeles to deliver the B4DT method in 2024.

Drs Björgvinsson & Hansen

Drs. Thröstur Björgvinsson and Bjarne Hansen with the team from the Department of Psychology, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya.

Visiting the largest Mental Health Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya as the plan to bring the B4DT to Kenya as worked out

Visiting the largest Mental Health Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya in preparation to bring the B4DT to Kenya.

B4DT implementation at Mathari National

Discussing the B4DT implementation at Mathari National Teaching and Referral Hospital with the CEO and a member from Ministry of Health overseeing Mental Health in Kenya.