Macquarie University
01whole.pdf (432.62 kB)

Clutter-buddies: a volunteer program to assist clients undergoing group cognitive behavioural therapy

Download (432.62 kB)
posted on 2022-03-28, 17:34 authored by Zachary Angel
The aim of the current study was to determine the efficacy and feasibility of a volunteer-based supplementary home intervention for individuals currently attending group Cognitive behaviour therapy (GCBT) for Hoarding Disorder (HD). Current treatment outcomes are only moderate and have a high rate of dropouts. Volunteers were trained by an experienced researcher in HD; they were taught the current treatment of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), additional Motivational Interviewing (MI), decisional balance scales and client-centered skills for eliciting behavioural changes. Self-identified participants with HD attending GCBT at a community organization opted into the study. There were six participants in each group: control and intervention. Participants were provided eight weekly two-hour sessions in their homes with two volunteers. The focus of these sessions was to help participants practice the skills learned during Group CBT sessions in their home environment. From pre-treatment to post-treatment, the intervention group showed a significant reduction in scores on the SIR (F(1, 11) = 12.486, p = .006, ηp2 =.581), compared to the control group. Smaller changes were seen on the Home Environment Index (F(1, 11) = 8.8, p = .016, ηp2 =.494) and changes were not statistically significant for the Clutter Image Rating (F(1, 11) = 2.16, p = .175, ηp2 =.194). The control group did not experience statistically significant change on any of the outcome measures in this study. The effectiveness and feasibility of co-leading the intervention with the community organization are discussed alongside the feedback from participant interviews. The program shows promise for enhancing treatment outcomes for participants beyond group CBT with large effect sizes for the results, however, the small sample size and lack of specific demographic data from the sample limits the generalizability of these findings. Future studies should make gathering demographic data a requirement for participation in the program, seek to reach more participants, consider longitudinal studies and observe the durability of intervention effects.


Table of Contents

1. Literature review -- 2. Methodology -- 3. Results -- 4. Discussion -- 5. Conclusion -- References -- Appendices.


Empirical thesis. Bibliography: pages 31-34

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Psychology

Department, Centre or School

Department of Psychology

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Melissa Norberg

Additional Supervisor 1

Jennifer L. Hudson


Copyright Zachary Angel 2019. Copyright disclaimer:




1 online resource (41 pages) tables

Former Identifiers