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Psychiatry Res. 2018 Jul;265:249-255. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2018.04.035. Epub 2018 Apr 22.

Developing image sets for inducing obsessive-compulsive checking symptoms.

Author information

1
Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA; Sewanee, The University of the South, Sewanee, TN, USA.
2
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
3
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA; Clinical Neuroscience Division of the VA National Center for PTSD, West Haven, CT, USA.
4
Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
5
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA; Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
6
Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA; Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA; Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA. Electronic address: michelle.hampson@yale.edu.

Abstract

Visual stimuli are often used for obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptom provocation in research studies. We tested the induction of anxiety and OC checking symptoms across different types of checking provocation stimuli in three populations: individuals with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), individuals with checking symptoms but without a diagnosis of OCD, and control individuals with neither checking symptoms nor a clinical diagnosis. One set of provocative images depicted objects that are commonly associated with checking anxiety. Another set ('enhanced provocative images') depicted similar objects but also included contextual cues suggesting a specific harmful scenario that could occur. As expected, the enhanced provocative images were more effective at inducing anxiety and OC symptoms than the standard provocative images. Future studies requiring checking symptom provocation should therefore consider incorporating similarly suggestive images. Individuals with clinical OCD reported the greatest provocation in response to these images, followed by those with nonclinical checking, followed by control individuals. Thus, these stimuli are able to provoke OC checking symptoms and anxiety differentially across groups, with the intensity of provocation reflecting diagnostic status. All groups demonstrated a similar qualitative pattern of provocation across images. Finally, in all groups, reported anxiety closely tracked intrusive thoughts and checking urges.

KEYWORDS:

Anxiety [F01.470.132]; Compulsive Behavior [F01-145-527-100]; Obsessive Behavior [F01.145.126.950]; Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder [F03-080-600]

PMID:
29763844
PMCID:
PMC6063514
DOI:
10.1016/j.psychres.2018.04.035
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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