Obsessive-compulsive disorder questionnaire may give clues to other mental health problems

May 13, 2014
Credit: iStockimage

A shortened version of a questionnaire used by psychologists to assess risk factors for obsessive-compulsive disorder also may help determine the risk of depression and anxiety, according to a Baylor University study.

The revision may be a good fit for assessing the risk of issues stemming from certain beliefs—such as seeing threats as greater than they are and feeling that things are not right unless they are perfect. Such dysfunctional beliefs are central to (OCD), said researcher Thomas Fergus, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience in Baylor's College of Arts and Sciences.

The study was published in the Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment.

The initial Obsessive Beliefs Questionnaire, developed in 2001 and consisting of 87 items, has been revised and shortened three times, most recently in 2011, with the aim of making it more practical for use. It now has only 20 items, but the concepts have not been changed, Fergus said.

Those with obsessive-compulsive disorder tend to overestimate threats, have an inflated sense of responsibility, be perfectionists and fear intrusive thoughts because they feel out of control. OCS symptoms include such behavior as excessive washing or repeated checking.

"At one time, the questionnaire was used because it was thought that responsibility or overestimation of threat might be specific to OCD," Fergus said. "But the short of it now is that certain beliefs appear to be relevant for more than OCD, so this might help us better understand depression and anxiety and have a broader application."

The research included two studies. In the first, participants were 48 patients who came to an outpatient clinic for stress and , while in the second, 507 non-clinical adults were recruited through the Internet.

In the first study, participants were given both the original, longer version of the questionnaire and the 20-item version, with similar results found using each version.

In the second study, participants were given the shorter Obsessive Beliefs Questionnaire; a questionnaire used to assess obsessive-compulsive symptoms; a questionnaire used to determine ; and another to assess general anxiety. That study revealed similarities in beliefs related to OCD, depression and anxiety.

Given the brevity of the revised Obsessive Beliefs Questionnaire—and its potential for patients—it could become a useful tool for research as well as treatment of patients and intervention for those who are predisposed toward a number of , Fergus said.

Explore further: Researchers identify genetic marker linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder

Related Stories

Researchers identify genetic marker linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder

May 13, 2014
A group of researchers led by Johns Hopkins scientists say they have identified a genetic marker that may be associated with the development of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), whose causes and mechanisms are among the ...

The surprising truth about obsessive-compulsive thinking

April 8, 2014
People who check whether their hands are clean or imagine their house might be on fire are not alone. New research from Concordia University and 15 other universities worldwide shows that 94 per cent of people experience ...

Addicted to tanning? Research looks at correlation between OCD, body dysmorphia and tanning addiction

February 19, 2014
They keep tanning, even after turning a deep brown and experiencing some of the negative consequences. Skin cancer is among the most common, preventable types of the disease, yet many continue to tan to excess.

Deep brain stimulation for obsessive-compulsive disorder releases dopamine in the brain

April 30, 2014
Some have characterized dopamine as the elixir of pleasure because so many rewarding stimuli - food, drugs, sex, exercise - trigger its release in the brain. However, more than a decade of research indicates that when drug ...

UM researcher develops successful prevention program for postpartum OCD

August 18, 2011
The birth of a baby can elicit many emotions, from joy and excitement to fear and uncertainty. But it can also trigger unexpected difficulties with anxiety, in particular with postpartum Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). ...

Obsessive-compulsive disorder may reflect a propensity for bad habits

April 10, 2014
Two new studies published this week in Biological Psychiatry shed light on the propensity for habit formation in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). These studies suggest that a tendency to develop habits, i.e., the compulsive ...

Recommended for you

Researchers crack the smile, describing three types by muscle movement

July 27, 2017
The smile may be the most common and flexible expression, used to reveal some emotions, cover others and manage social interactions that have kept communities secure and organized for millennia.

Ketamine for depression encouraging, but questions remain around long-term use

July 27, 2017
A world-first systematic review into the safety of ketamine as a treatment for depression, published in the prestigious Lancet Psychiatry, shows the risks of long-term ketamine treatment remain unclear.

Even babies can tell who's the boss, UW research says

July 27, 2017
The charismatic colleague, the natural leader, the life of the party - all are personal qualities that adults recognize instinctively. These socially dominant types, according to repeated studies, also tend to accomplish ...

DREAMers at greater risk for mental health distress

July 27, 2017
Immigrants who came to the United States illegally as small children and who meet the requirements of the Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, more commonly known as DREAMers, are at risk for mental health ...

Negativity, be gone—new online tool can retrain your brain

July 27, 2017
Anxiety and depression can have devastating effects on people's lives. In some cases, the mental disorders lead to isolation, poverty and poor physical health, things that often cascade to future generations.

Research aims to shape more precise treatments for depression in women

July 27, 2017
Among women in the United States, depression is at epidemic levels: Approximately 12 million women in the U.S. experience clinical depression each year, and more than 12 percent of women can expect to experience depression ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.