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Psychiatry Investig. 2013 Sep;10(3):259-65. doi: 10.4306/pi.2013.10.3.259. Epub 2013 Sep 16.

The impact of personality traits on ratings of obsessive-compulsive symptoms.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.



The goal of this study was to evaluate consistencies and discrepancies between clinician-administered and self-report versions of the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) and to examine relationships between these scales and personality traits.


A total of 106 patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) participated in this study. All participants were assessed with both clinician-administered and self-report versions of the Y-BOCS. The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis II Disorders Personality Questionnaire (SCID-II-PQ) was used to evaluate relationships between personality traits and scores on the Y-BOCS.


Scores on the clinician-administered Y-BOCS and its obsession subscale were significantly higher than were those on the self-report version. However, we found no significant differences in compulsion subscale scores. We also found that the discrepancies in the scores on the two versions of the Y-BOCS and its compulsion subscale were significantly positively correlated with scores for narcissistic personality traits on the SCID-II-PQ. Additionally, narcissistic personality traits had a significant effect on the discrepancy in the scores on the two versions of the Y-BOCS and its compulsion subscale in the multiple linear regression analysis.


This is the first study to elucidate relationships between personality traits and discrepancies between scores on the two versions of the Y-BOCS. Although clinicians tend to rate obsessive symptoms as being more severe than do patients, clinicians may underestimate the degree to which individuals with narcissistic personality traits suffer more from subjective discomfort due to compulsive symptoms. Therefore, the effect of personality traits on symptom severity should be considered in the treatment of OCD.


Obsessive-compulsive disorder; Personality trait; SCID-II personality questionnaire; Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale

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