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Behav Res Ther. 2000 Nov;38(11):1071-81.

Mood, personality disorder symptoms and disability in obsessive compulsive hoarders: a comparison with clinical and nonclinical controls.

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  • 1Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063, USA.


Hoarding is a symptom of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), as well as a diagnostic criterion for obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD). One recent study suggests that people who suffer from compulsive hoarding report more general psychopathology than people who do not [Frost, R.O., Krause, M.S., & Steketee, G. (1996). Hoarding and obsessive compulsive symptoms. Behavior Modification, 20, 116-132]. The present study addressed whether persons with OCD hoarding exhibit more depression, anxiety, OCD and personality disorders symptoms than community controls, OCD nonhoarders, or other anxiety disorder patients. Disability was also examined. Hoarding subjects were older than the other three groups, but age did not account for any of the differences observed among the groups. Compared to controls, OCD hoarding, nonhoarding OCD and anxiety disorder patients showed elevated YBOCS scores, as well as higher scores on depression, anxiety, family and social disability. Compared to nonhoarding OCD and anxiety disorder patients, OCD hoarding patients scored higher on anxiety, depression, family and social disability. Hoarding subjects had greater personality disorder symptoms than controls. However, OCD hoarding subjects differed from OCD nonhoarding and anxiety disorder subjects only on dependent and schizotypal personality disorder symptoms. The findings suggest that hoarding is associated with significant comorbidity and impairment compared to nonhoarding OCD and other anxiety disorders.

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