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Compr Psychiatry. 2010 Mar-Apr;51(2):193-200. doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2009.03.004. Epub 2009 Apr 16.

Clinical predictors of health-related quality of life in obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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Mood and Anxiety Disorders Unit, Department of Neurosciences, University of Turin, 10126 Torino, Italy.



Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a serious mental disorder that has severe impact on a person's quality of life and those living with a person with OCD. This study systematically examined the clinical variables that are predictive of several domains of quality of life in a large, well-characterized sample of patients attending a specialized treatment unit in Italy.


The Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) was administered to 151 patients with OCD and their scores were compared to published Italian norms. A principal component analysis was performed on the 13 major categories of the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (YBOCS) Symptom Checklist to derive symptom dimension scores. The association between various domains of quality of life and a wide range of clinical variables, including symptom dimension scores, was examined using multiple regression models.


Compared to published Italian norms, patients with OCD showed impairment in most domains of quality of life, particularly social functioning. The principal component analysis of the YBOCS Symptom Checklist yielded 5 symptom dimensions that were identical to those previously identified in the international literature. Fewer years of education, higher depression scores (Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression), higher YBOCS obsessions scores, and higher scores on the contamination/washing symptom dimension independently predicted a poorer score on the physical health component of the SF-36. Higher YBOCS compulsions scores, the presence of a current mood disorder, and higher anxiety scores (Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety) predicted a poorer score on the mental health component of the SF-36.


Our study confirms that quality of life is severely impaired in patients with OCD. The identification of predictors of quality of life in OCD can help clinicians to adapt their treatment protocols to cater for the individual needs of their patients.

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