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The European Journal of Psychiatry

Print version ISSN 0213-6163


BECKER NISSEN, Judith; HESSELBERG NIKOLAJSEN, Kathrine  and  HOVE THOMSEN, Per. A 7 year follow-up of children and adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder: an analysis of predictive factors in a clinical prospective study. Eur. J. Psychiat. [online]. 2014, vol.28, n.3, pp.183-193. ISSN 0213-6163.

Background and Objectives: Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a frequent psychiatric disorder. Despite its significant influence on personal development, little is known about its long-term course in children and adolescents. The aim was to follow children and adolescents with OCD for 7 years and to compare patients gaining remission with patients experiencing symptoms. Methods: The study was a prospective follow-up study in which the patients were interviewed 7 years after their initial contact with the healthcare system. The patients had been described at baseline. Results: Among the 95 participants, 53 participants described symptoms at follow-up and 44 participants described remission. More patients with persistent symptoms described an anxious personality trait. The schizoid/compulsive personality traits were represented at a higher rate in the group with persistent symptoms than in the group with remission symptoms. Important predictive factors included predisposition to OCD, the occurrence of comorbid disorders and older referral age. The occurrence of magic obsessions and repetitive compulsions increased the risk of OC symptoms at follow-up. The group “late responders” differed from the non-responder group by predisposition to depression. Conclusions: The present clinical study is one of the longest follow-up studies conducted in children and adolescents with OCD. In addition to confirming several previous findings, the study added new knowledge about the importance of phenotypic presentation, personality traits and quality of life. Furthermore, the late responder group has been described in relation to the remission group and to the group with persistent symptoms.

Keywords : Children and Adolescents; OCD; Obsessive compulsive disorder; Follow-up study; Pre­dictive factors.

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