OCD and Spectrum Conditions in Older Adults

Cheryl N. Carmin, John E. Calamari and Raymond L. Ownby

in The Oxford Handbook of Obsessive Compulsive and Spectrum Disorders

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195376210
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199940561 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 OCD and Spectrum Conditions in Older Adults

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Despite its chronic and unremitting nature and impact on quality of life, unlike other of the anxiety disorders, surprisingly little attention has been paid to the epidemiology, descriptive psychopathology, and treatment of OCD and related spectrum conditions in late life. ERP remains the mainstay of evidence-based psychological treatment, as is the use of SRIs for pharmacological management. The need to evaluate older adults and design treatment interventions, taking individual medical and cognitive limitations into account, is discussed. Recent statistical modeling approaches using older adult samples suggest that addressing the role of beliefs about intrusive thoughts, cognitive decline, and aging in general may be important additions to a cognitive approach to OCD treatment that is unique to older adults.

Keywords: late-life OCD; OCD treatment; hoarding; neurological and medical comorbidity

Article.  12396 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Psychology

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