Dysfunctional belief-based obsessive-compulsive disorder subgroups

John E. Calamari*, Robyn J. Cohen, Neil A. Rector, Kate Szacun-Shimizu, Bradley C. Riemann, Melissa M. Norberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

79 Citations (Scopus)


An attempt was made to identify obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) subgroups based on differences in OCD related beliefs. OCD patients (N = 3 6 7) were assessed with the Obsessional-Beliefs Questionnaire prior to treatment. Individuals' scores on measures of inflated personal responsibility and the tendency to overestimate threat, perfectionism and intolerance of uncertainty, and over-importance and over-control of thoughts were subjected to cluster analysis. Support for both a simple and complex subgroup model was found (2-subgroup and 5-subgroup taxonomies). A low-beliefs subgroup was identified in both taxonomies. The low-beliefs subgroups reported scores on belief measures equivalent to scores reported for non-OCD comparison groups in earlier studies. Additional analyses were conducted to determine relations between belief-based and symptom subgroups. Significant relationships were found (e.g., Symmetry symptom subgroup membership was associated with membership in the Perfectionism/Certainty beliefs subgroup), although the shared variance was modest. Implications for understanding OCD heterogeneity and for cognitive theory are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1347-1360
Number of pages14
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes

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    Calamari, J. E., Cohen, R. J., Rector, N. A., Szacun-Shimizu, K., Riemann, B. C., & Norberg, M. M. (2006). Dysfunctional belief-based obsessive-compulsive disorder subgroups. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 44(9), 1347-1360. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2005.10.005