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Isr J Psychiatry Relat Sci. 2008;45(3):151-63.

Clinical screening for obsessive-compulsive and related disorders.

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  • 1National OCD Treatment Service, Queen Elizabeth II Hospital,Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, UK.



Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) and other OCD-related disorders (OCDs) are frequently overlooked during medical or even psychiatric evaluation. Individuals with affective disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, alcohol abuse and schizophrenia are commonly affected. Increased prevalence of OCDs is also reported to occur in certain secondary health-care settings. Better identification and treatment of OCDs are increasingly recognized as important public health priorities.


In this narrative review we consider the arguments for the use of screening strategies for OCD in clinical practice, paying particular attention to pragmatic issues such as the shortage of suitable screening instruments and areas of medical practice where screening might most profitably be exercised.


Arguments for screening in fields where affected individuals congregate appear persuasive, although evidence that screening produces clinical and social benefits by reducing morbidity is still lacking.


Confirmation of health-care settings attracting high concentrations of OCD and BDD and evaluation of specific screening instruments and their utility in reducing the burden of disease are important areas for future research. Further evaluation of the validity and reliability of specific screening tools across different clinical populations is required.

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