Sensory properties of obsessive thoughts in OCD and the relationship to psychopathology

Jana Röhlinger, Falk Wulf, Martina Fieker, Steffen Moritz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


For decades hallucinations and perception-laden thoughts were considered specific indicators of schizophrenia. This assumption has been revised over the years. Novel studies indicate that a subgroup of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), borderline disorder or depression display hallucinations and "loud"/perceptual thoughts. The present study examined the frequency of sensory-laden obsessive thoughts and their relationship with the severity of obsessive-compulsive, paranoid and depressive symptoms in a sample of 137 OCD patients who were recruited via the Internet. Participants were asked to fill out the Sensory Properties of Obsessions Questionnaire (SPOQ), the Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory-Revised (OCI-R), the Paranoia Checklist and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ9). In line with a prior study, a total of 72% displayed perceptual intrusions (i.e. vivid obsessions). Correlations emerged between perceptual thoughts and obsessive-compulsive, paranoid and depressive symptoms. Results further strengthen the assumption of a continuum ranging from "silent" thoughts to vivid intrusions and hallucinations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-596
Number of pages5
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Continuum
  • Intrusion
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Perception
  • Psychopathology


Dive into the research topics of 'Sensory properties of obsessive thoughts in OCD and the relationship to psychopathology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this