Clinical features associated with increased severity of illness in tertiary clinic referred patients with obsessive compulsive disorder

Bernardo Dell’Osso, Beatrice Benatti, Eric Hollander, A. Carlo Altamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Objective: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a prevalent and disabling condition. Specific patterns of psychiatric comorbidity, early age at onset, long duration of illness (DI) and untreated illness (DUI) have been associated with poor outcome in OCD. The present study was aimed to explore sociodemographic and clinical characteristics associated with increased severity of illness in a sample of OCD patients. Methods: A total of 124 OCD outpatients were recruited and divided into two groups on the basis of their severity of illness, as assessed through the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (>24). Chi-squared test and t-test for independent samples were performed to compare sociodemographic and clinical variables between the two groups. Results: The group with increased severity of illness had a younger age, an earlier age at onset and age at first pharmacological treatment (p < .05). In addition, the same group showed a longer DI but a shorter DUI (p < .01). Moreover, significantly higher rates of psychiatric comorbidities (p < .01) were observed in the higher severity group. Conclusions: Earlier age, age at onset and age at first pharmacological treatment, longer DI, shorter DUI and higher rate of psychiatric comorbidities were associated with increased severity of OCD. Further studies on larger samples are warranted to confirm the reported results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Nov 3 2016



  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • severity of illness
  • Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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