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Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2011 Apr;46(4):291-7. doi: 10.1007/s00127-010-0194-2. Epub 2010 Feb 27.

Predictors of early adulthood quality of life in children with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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  • 1Yale Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine, PO Box 2070900, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.



The goal of this study was to determine childhood clinical predictors of quality of life (QoL) in early adulthood in children with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).


A longitudinal cohort study was conducted with 36 (out of 62 eligible) children with OCD, interviewed once at childhood baseline (mean age 12.1 ± 2.1, range 8.0-15.8), and again in early adulthood after an average follow-up interval of 9 years. QoL was measured in adulthood with the longitudinal interval follow-up evaluation range of impaired functioning tool (LIFE-RIFT).


Forty-two percent of children experienced a remission of OCD symptoms by early adulthood. OCD appeared to most strongly impair the interpersonal relationships and work domains of QoL. QoL and severity of OCD and anxiety symptoms were significantly associated in early adulthood. Primary hoarding symptoms in childhood predicted poor QoL in adulthood. Increased symptoms in the forbidden thoughts dimension in both childhood and adulthood were associated with improved adulthood QoL.


Children for whom OCD symptoms remitted by adulthood showed no evidence of residual impairment in QoL, whereas children whose OCD symptoms failed to remit by adulthood showed at most mild impairment in QoL. Hoarding symptoms in childhood appear to portend not only the persistence of OCD symptoms but also poorer QoL in early adulthood.

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