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Rev Bras Psiquiatr. 2008 Sep;30(3):185-96.

The Brazilian Research Consortium on Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Disorders: recruitment, assessment instruments, methods for the development of multicenter collaborative studies and preliminary results.

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Clinical Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.



To describe the recruitment of patients, assessment instruments, implementation, methods and preliminary results of The Brazilian Research Consortium on Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Disorders, which includes seven university sites.


This cross-sectional study included a comprehensive clinical assessment including semi-structured interviews (sociodemographic data, medical and psychiatric history, disease course and comorbid psychiatric diagnoses), and instruments to assess obsessive-compulsive (Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale and Dimensional Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale), depressive (Beck Depression Inventory) and anxious (Beck Anxiety Inventory) symptoms, sensory phenomena (Universidade de São Paulo Sensory Phenomena Scale), insight (Brown Assessment Beliefs Scale), tics (Yale Global Tics Severity Scale) and quality of life (Medical Outcome Quality of Life Scale Short-form-36 and Social Assessment Scale). The raters' training consisted of watching at least five videotaped interviews and interviewing five patients with an expert researcher before interviewing patients alone. The reliability between all leaders for the most important instruments (Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV, Dimensional Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale, Universidade de São Paulo Sensory Phenomena Scale) was measured after six complete interviews.


Inter-rater reliability was 96%. By March 2008, 630 obsessive-compulsive disorder patients had been systematically evaluated. Mean age (+/-SE) was 34.7 (+/-0.51), 56.3% were female, and 84.6% Caucasian. The most prevalent obsessive compulsive symptom dimensions were symmetry and contamination. The most common comorbidities were major depression, generalized anxiety and social anxiety disorder. The most common DSM-IV impulsive control disorder was skin picking.


The sample was composed mainly by Caucasian individuals, unmarried, with some kind of occupational activity, mean age of 35 years, onset of obsessive-compulsive symptoms at 13 years of age, mild to moderate severity, mostly of symmetry, contamination/cleaning and comorbidity with depressive disorders. The Brazilian Research Consortium on Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Disorders has established an important network for standardized collaborative clinical research in obsessive-compulsive disorder and may pave the way to similar projects aimed at integrating other research groups in Brazil and throughout the world.

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