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OCD treatment and hepatitis risk in therapy?
Jan 30, 2005

In my job as an assistant psychologist, it has been recommended that I carry out behavioural testing with a patient with OCD. For maximum effectiveness, I should recommend that the patient touches a clean toilet bowl and does not then wash his hands. In a hospital environment, where some patients may have hepatitis etc. would this be irresponsible?

Response from Dr. McGovern

The risk of hepatitis B or C transmission is mainly related to blood exposures; however, hepatitis A is excreted in stool.

I think that washing hands after touching a "clean" toilet bowl is a NORMAL reaction. THis does not strike me as a helpful test for your patients; nor does it teach personal hygiene effects which I would encourage.

Dr. McGovern



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