Future Research on Obsessive Compulsive and Spectrum Conditions

Gail Steketee and Brian H. McCorkle

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

 Future Research on Obsessive Compulsive and Spectrum Conditions

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This chapter reviews comments raised by authors of 25 chapters of the Handbook of Obsessive Compulsive and Spectrum Disorders. Among the challenges raised are those within the areas of diagnosis and features of the several OC spectrum conditions, including revisions to the diagnostic nomenclature for DSM-V under consideration, especially with regard to the possible addition of hoarding disorder to distinguish this more clearly from OCD. Research on clinical versus nonclinical samples, and controversies regarding possible subtypes of OCD and of some of its spectrum conditions like BDD and hoarding, are examined. Relationships among OCD and the spectrum conditions are examined with attention to the general lack of information about this issue. Several authors in the handbook comment on personality features and their association with outcomes following treatment, with a general consensus that assessing features rather than disorders will be most useful. The impact of culture on expression of OC spectrum conditions is clearly under-studied. Causes and mechanisms underlying OCD and spectrum conditions are examined, including neurological and genetic underpinnings, information processing, beliefs and cognitive models, as well as social and familial factors. Concerns about assessment are raised with regard to OCD and its expression in older adults, in hoarding and in BDD, and the impact of culture on assessment. With regard to treatment, chapters focus on research needs concerning mechanisms of action and predictors of change, and the need to improve treatments to enhance their effects. Improvement of outcomes in a variety of areas (e.g., hoarding, children, culturally sensitive treatments) is noted, including outcomes for medications and combined CBT plus medication regimens. Special issues are raised with regard to BDD, tic disorders, and trichotillomania.

Keywords: obsessive compulsive disorder; OCD; OC spectrum; research; body dysmorphic disorder; trichotillomania; tics; hoarding

Article.  7934 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Psychology

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