+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Toward understanding the heterogeneity in obsessive-compulsive disorder: Evidence from narratives in adult patients

Toward understanding the heterogeneity in obsessive-compulsive disorder: Evidence from narratives in adult patients

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 50(1): 74-81

Current attempts at understanding the heterogeneity in obsessive-compulsive disorder have relied on quantitative methods. The results of such work point toward a dimensional structure for obsessive-compulsive disorder. Existing qualitative work in obsessive-compulsive disorder has focused on understanding specific aspects of the obsessive-compulsive disorder experience in greater depth. However, qualitative methods are also of potential value in furthering our understanding of obsessive-compulsive disorder heterogeneity by allowing for open-ended exploration of the obsessive-compulsive disorder experience and correlating identified subtypes with patient narratives. We explored variations in patients' experience prior to, during and immediately after performing their compulsions. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 adults with obsessive-compulsive disorder, followed by inductive thematic analysis. Participant responses were not analyzed within the context of an existing theoretical framework, and themes were labeled descriptively. The previous dichotomy of 'anxiety' vs 'incompleteness' emerged organically during narrative analysis. In addition, we found that some individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder utilized their behaviors as a way to cope with stress and anxiety more generally. Other participants did not share this experience and denied finding any comfort in their obsessive-compulsive behaviors. The consequences of attentional difficulties were highlighted, with some participants describing how difficulty focusing on a task could influence the need for it to be repeated multiple times. The extent to which patients use obsessive-compulsive disorder as a coping mechanism is a relevant distinction with potential implications for treatment engagement. Patients may experience ambivalence about suppressing behaviors that they have come to rely upon for management of stress and anxiety, even if these behaviors represent symptoms of a psychiatric illness.

Please choose payment method:

(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 059145866

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 25855685

DOI: 10.1177/0004867415579919

Related references

Does work on obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders contribute to understanding the heterogeneity of obsessive-compulsive disorder?. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 30(3): 353-361, 2006

The future of pharmacotherapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder may lie in a better understanding of its heterogeneity. Expert Opinion on PharmacoTherapy 15(10): 1321-1323, 2014

Obsessive compulsive phenomena in adult obsessionality, compulsive personality disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder (neurosis). Psychiatric Journal of the University of Ottawa 12(4): 214-221, 1987

Psychopathology and quality of life among patients with comorbidity between schizophrenia spectrum disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder: no evidence for a "schizo-obsessive" subtype. Comprehensive Psychiatry 55(5): 1165-1173, 2014

Neuropsychological profile and treatment-related features among patients with comorbidity between schizophrenia spectrum disorder and obsessive–compulsive disorder: is there evidence for a “schizo-obsessive” subtype?. Psychiatry Research 220(3): 846-854, 2014

Comparison of cognitive flexibility and planning ability in patients with obsessive compulsive disorder, patients with obsessive compulsive personality disorder, and healthy controls. Shanghai Archives of Psychiatry 28(1): 28-34, 2016

The relationship between obsessive-compulsive personality disorder traits, obsessive-compulsive disorder and excessive exercise in patients with anorexia nervosa: a systematic review. Journal of Eating Disorders 1: 16, 2013

Prevalence and clinical characteristics of obsessive-compulsive disorder and obsessive compulsive symptoms in Afrikaner schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder patients. African Journal of Psychiatry 10(4): 219-224, 2007

Risk factors prospectively associated with adult obsessive-compulsive symptom dimensions and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Psychological Medicine 41(12): 2495-2506, 2011

Clinical features distinguishing patients with Tourette's syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder from patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder without tics. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 59(9): 456-459, 1998

Comorbidity of obsessive-compulsive disorder with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder: Does it imply a specific subtype of obsessive-compulsive disorder?. Psychiatry Research 177(1-2): 156-160, 2010

Childhood, adolescent and adult age at onset and related clinical correlates in obsessive-compulsive disorder: a report from the International College of Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Disorders (ICOCS). International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice 20(4): 210-217, 2016

Heterogeneity of antinuclear antibodies in patients with Tourette syndrome , obsessive-compulsive disorder , and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts 25(1-2): 490, 1999

Comparison of putative intermediate phenotypes in schizophrenia patients with and without obsessive-compulsive disorder: examining evidence for the schizo-obsessive subtype. Schizophrenia Research 140(1-3): 83-86, 2012

Complex segregation analysis provides compelling evidence for a major gene underlying obsessive-compulsive disorder and for heterogeneity by sex. American Journal of Human Genetics 67(6): 1611-1616, 2000