Cultural Issues in Understanding and Treating Obsessive Compulsive and Spectrum Disorders

Maja Nedeljkovic, Richard Moulding, Elham Foroughi, Michael Kyrios and Guy Doron

in The Oxford Handbook of Obsessive Compulsive and Spectrum Disorders

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

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Cultural Issues in Understanding and Treating Obsessive Compulsive and Spectrum Disorders

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This chapter discusses the cross-cultural understanding of the obsessive compulsive and spectrum disorders. Epidemiological studies suggest a reasonably consistent prevalence of OCD around the world. The role of other culturally influenced factors in the presentation of OCD is also considered (i.e., religiosity, superstition, and beliefs), with religion considered particularly important in the presentation of OCD, although not in its prevalence per se. Treatment effect sizes across countries and within minority cultures from Western countries are outlined. The influence of cultural factors on help-seeking behaviors, assessment, misdiagnosis, and treatment are considered. Limitations of the literature base are discussed, particularly the lack of non-Western studies of treatment effects, and the low evidence base for the spectrum disorders.

Keywords: cross-cultural psychology; cross-cultural treatment; epidemiology; obsessive compulsive disorder; body dysmorphic disorder; cognition.

Article.  16279 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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