Interpersonal reassurance seeking in obsessive-compulsive disorder and its relationship with checking compulsions

Vladan Starcevic*, David Berle, Vlasios Brakoulias, Peter Sammut, Karen Moses, Denise Milicevic, Anthony Hannan

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This study aimed to examine interpersonal reassurance seeking (IRS) in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and the relationship between IRS and checking compulsions. One hundred and forty adults with OCD underwent a comprehensive assessment, which included obtaining information on seeking reassurance from others because of their obsessions. Sixty-seven (47.9%) participants reported IRS. They exhibited more psychopathology than participants without IRS, tended to have a greater overall severity of OCD and were far more likely to have checking compulsions. Participants with IRS also had more severe obsessions, suggesting that IRS plays a role as an additional coping strategy when obsessions are more prominent. The severity of obsessions and the absence of obsessions about a need to collect and keep objects were independent predictors of IRS, whereas the presence of obsessions about unintentional harm and not being married or in a de facto relationship independently predicted checking compulsions. Although a close relationship exists between IRS and checking compulsions, these results suggest important differences, with implications for understanding the factors that contribute to IRS and checking compulsions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)560-567
    Number of pages8
    JournalPsychiatry Research
    Volume200
    Issue number2-3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2012

    Keywords

    • Checking
    • Harm-related obsessions
    • Obsessions
    • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
    • Reassurance seeking

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