Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is still an unrecognised disorder: A study on the recognition of OCD in psychiatric outpatients

K. Wahl, A. Kordon*, K. A. Kuelz, U. Voderholzer, F. Hohagen, B. Zurowski

*Corresponding author for this work
30 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The study aims to investigate the recognition of patients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in psychiatric outpatients. Subjects and methods: A total of 2282 outpatients seen at 14 different psychiatric clinics in South Germany were asked to participate in the study. Five hundred and eighty-nine (30%) of the original 2282 patients met screening criteria for OCD, and of those, 237 (42%) participated in the final interview including DSM-IV diagnosis, and comorbidity. Results: Sixty-nine of 589 participating patients who screened positively for obsessive symptoms actually had an Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Only 19 (28%) of the outpatients diagnosed with OCD according to DSM-IV criteria were also given this diagnosis by their consultant. The psychopathology scores indicated that the OCD patients had clinically relevant OCD with a mean Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Score (Y-BOCS) of 17.5 (± 5.4), and a mean Clinical Global Impression Score (CGI) of 5.2 (± 1.2). Conclusions: In outpatient clinics over 70% of OCD patients remain unrecognised and thus untreated by consultants. Screening questions provide a rapid way of identifying those who may have OCD and should be incorporated into every mental state examination by consultants.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Psychiatry
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)374-377
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 11.2010

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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