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J Clin Psychiatry. 2001 Jan;62(1):67-72; quiz 73.

A retrospective review of clinical characteristics and treatment response in body dysmorphic disorder versus obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute, Los Angeles, Calif 90095, USA.



Although body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) has many features in common with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and is frequently comorbid with OCD, few studies have directly compared the 2 disorders. Although BDD and OCD respond to similar medications and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), their response to treatment has never been directly compared.


We studied 107 consecutive patients with DSM-III-R OCD (N = 96) or BDD (N = 11) treated openly for 6 weeks with intensive CBT, medication, and psychosocial rehabilitation, in a specialized partial hospitalization program for severely ill OCD patients. All patients were assessed, before and after treatment, with the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS), Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D), Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety (HAM-A), and Global Assessment Scale (GAS). Retrospectively, we compared the clinical characteristics, symptom severity, and response to treatment of BDD patients with those of OCD patients.


BDD patients and OCD patients had similar sex ratio, age, treatment duration, prevalence of comorbid major depression, and pretreatment Y-BOCS and GAS scores. BDD patients had significantly higher pretreatment HAM-D and HAM-A scores. The proportions of patients treated with serotonin reuptake inhibitors and antipsychotics did not differ between groups. Both groups improved with treatment, with significant (p < .001) changes in Y-BOCS, HAM-D, HAM-A, and GAS scores. Change in Y-BOCS did not differ between groups, but changes in HAM-D and HAM-A were significantly greater in BDD patients than in OCD patients.


While BDD may be associated with greater severity of depressive and anxiety symptoms than OCD, this study suggests that BDD may respond to intensive, multimodal treatment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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