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Nord J Psychiatry. 2008;62(4):309-14. doi: 10.1080/08039480801984065.

Clinicians' views on clinical examination and treatment of children and adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). A Danish national survey study.

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Psychiatric Hospital for Children and Adolescent Psychiatry, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus University, Risskov, DK-8240, Denmark.


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a frequently encountered disorder in children and adolescents. Several characteristics make the disorder a challenge to diagnostic methods and treatment procedures including the diversity of symptoms, the delay of referral and the occurrence of comorbidity. The aim of the present study was to examine how recent progress in assessment and treatment has influenced the Danish clinicians in their work with children and adolescents with OCD. The study was conducted as a national survey addressing a total of 14 outpatient children and adolescent departments, and 25 medical specialists in private practice. The clinicians received a questionnaire including general and specific questions on assessment scales and treatment methods towards OCD and their view on treatment efficacy and prognosis. A total of 71.8% responded to the questionnaire. Most clinicians reported the use of a general medical and social history combined with the use of OCD-specific checklists. Treatment procedures included medication, cognitive therapy or cognitive-behavioural therapy and a family approach depending on the age of the patient. Eighty-one per cent of the clinicians reported a good or very good effect of treatment. Clinical Global Improvement ratings of the last treated patient indicated a treatment response of 68.8% and a response on general improvement of 59.4%. In conclusion, the present study shows that treatment methods employed towards children and adolescents with OCD are close to the clinical recommendations and comparable with those employed in other countries. Furthermore, the general opinion of clinicians towards OCD is comparable with that described in the literature. However, a discussion of the choice of recommended assessment methods including the use of both specific and general checklists is warranted.

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