Disgust and obsessive-compulsive disorder: An update

David Berle*, Emily S. Phillips

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this paper, we review the growing body of literature investigating the association between obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and the emotion of disgust. Initially studied with regard to specific phobias, the potential role of disgust responses in contamination concerns has led researchers to investigate possible associations between disgust and OCD symptoms. The literature on disgust-sensitivity in OCD is reviewed. Studies of disgust recognition in OCD and research using neuroimaging methods are then summarized. We suggest that disgust has a moderate association with OCD symptoms, particularly those which are contamination-based or which have a religious focus. Evidence for a disgust recognition deficit in patients with OCD is lacking; however, neuroimaging findings have confirmed hypothesized associations between contamination-focused OCD and the insula cortex, which has been implicated in disgust processing. Finally, treatment implications are discussed, and suggestions are made for further research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-238
Number of pages11
JournalPsychiatry
Volume69
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • DISEASE-AVOIDANCE MODEL
  • NONCLINICAL SAMPLE
  • INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES
  • RELIGIOUS OBSESSIONS
  • CONTAMINATION FEARS
  • SYMPTOM DIMENSIONS
  • NEURAL RESPONSE
  • SPIDER PHOBIA
  • TRAIT ANXIETY
  • SENSITIVITY

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