Objective: The concept of obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders (OCSDs) has become so influential that there are proposals to introduce it into new diagnostic classificatory systems. The aim of this paper was to assess whether rates of comorbidity and family history of OCSDs in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) supported this concept. Method: Comorbidity and family history were assessed in a group of participants with a primary diagnosis of OCD, using structured clinical interviews. Rates of OCSDs and other anxiety disorders (OADs), excluding OCD, were compared. Results: Of the 77 OCD participants assessed, the most prevalent comorbid conditions were OADs: generalized anxiety disorder (34.6%), specific phobia (26.9%), social phobia (21.8%) and panic disorder (19.2%). The proposed OCSDs were less frequently comorbid: tic disorder (12.8%), trichotillomania (5.1%), hypochondriasis (3.8%) and body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) (3.8%). Similar trends were observed for a family history of these disorders. No participant reported a family history of an OCSD without a family history of an OAD. Conclusions: Although the concept of OCSDs has invigorated thinking in this complex diagnostic field, these results support the current association of OCD with OADs rather than with OCSDs.
- family history
- obsessive-compulsive disorder