Per Hove Thomsen

Obsessive-compulsive disorder in children and adolescents. Symptom dimensions in a naturalistic setting

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Background: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a frequent and clinically heterogeneous disorder. The complex clinical presentation can be summarized using a few consistent and temporally stable symptom dimensions. Only few studies in children and adolescents have examined the importance of symptom dimensions. Aims: This retrospective study was undertaken to describe the relation between symptom dimensions, pattern of comorbidity and family disposition, in a sample of Danish children and adolescents with OCD assessed in a naturalistic setting. Methods: A retrospective study of children and adolescents (n=83) diagnosed with OCD in the period 1998-2004, at the Psychiatric Hospital for Children and Adolescents, Risskov, Denmark. Information from clinical records was systematically collected and Children's Yale-Brown Obsessive-compulsive Scale (CY-BOCS) scores and symptom checklists were obtained. Results: High scores on the symmetry/ordering dimension were related to OCD in first-degree relatives and high scores on the aggressive/checking dimension were associated to comorbidity with tic disorders. We showed a correlation between limited insight and younger age. Conclusion: This is one of the first studies to examine symptom dimensions in children and adolescents in naturalistic settings. The results were comparable with those in adult studies, showing an association between the occurrence of the symmetry/ordering dimension and family OCD and the occurrence of the aggressive/checking dimension and comorbid tic disorders. In small children, insight into symptoms may be limited.
TidsskriftNordic Journal of Psychiatry
Sider (fra-til)244-50
StatusUdgivet - 2011

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