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The association between obsessive compulsive disorder and obsessive compulsive personality disorder: Prevalence and clinical presentation

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Olivia M. Gordon, Paul M. Salkovskis, Victoria Oldfield, Natalie Carter

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-315
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Psychology
Issue number3
PublishedSep 2013

King's Authors


Objectives. The relationship between Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) has been the subject of interest for some time due to the historical assumption that OCPD causes OCD. This study systematically examined the association between OCD and OCPD in terms of prevalence and clinical presentation. The specificity of the association between OCD and OCPD was investigated relative to another axis I anxiety disorder (Panic disorder).

Design and Method. Data for this study were drawn from measures taken at initial assessment at a specialist treatment centre for anxiety disorders. Of the 359 participants included in this study, 189 had a principal diagnosis of OCD, while 170 had a principal diagnosis of Panic disorder. Measures included SCID I and II interview modules and self-report measures of anxiety, depression, and OCD syptomatology.

Results. Significantly elevated rates of OCPD were found in OCD relative to Panic disorder. Regardless of axis I disorder, individuals with comorbid OCPD reported more severe depression relative to those without. Participants with both OCD and OCPD had greater self-reported OCD symptom severity, doubting, ordering, and hoarding symptoms at assessment relative to those without OCPD. Participants with OCD and comorbid OCPD also reported significantly higher levels of alcohol consumption.

Conclusions. There appears to be a significant and specific association between OCD and OCPD. Co-occurring OCD and OCPD is associated with greater severity of impairment in terms of certain OCD symptoms.

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