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Generic and Illness-Specific Quality of Life in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

  • Marit Hauschildt (a1), Lena Jelinek (a1), Sarah Randjbar (a1), Birgit Hottenrott (a1) and Steffen Moritz (a1)...


Background: Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic and disabling disorder. It profoundly compromises various aspects of patients’ everyday life, thus affecting their quality of life (QoL). Using generic instruments, several studies have confirmed severely impaired health-related QoL in patients diagnosed with OCD. However, there has been a dearth of research on illness-specific QoL. Aims: The present study aimed to further investigate subjective QoL in individuals with OCD with a focus on illness-specific aspects. Method: To assess subjective QoL in a broad OCD sample, an internet survey was conducted with 123 participants with obsessive-compulsive symptoms. The survey comprised both a generic (WHOQOL-BREF) and a novel self-developed OCD-specific QoL measure (QoLOC). Psychopathology was determined with diagnostic standard instruments (self-report forms of: Y-BOCS, OCI-R, BDI-SF). Results: Regression analyses confirmed depression as the best predictor for decreased QoL. In addition, participants reported high despair resulting from OCD-related problems that differed across symptom subtypes. An exploratory factor analysis suggested four domains of OCD-specific problems tapped by the QoLOC: (1) depressiveness in association with OCD; (2) constraints in activities due to OCD symptoms or avoidance; (3) problems with partner and/or family due to OCD symptoms or avoidance; (4) self-concept/coping of own illness. Conclusions: Results produced a comprehensive picture of QoL impairments and their relation to psychopathology in a representative OCD sample. Illness-specific concerns should be further addressed in QoL research in OCD because such problems are not sufficiently mirrored in generic QoL measures.


Corresponding author

Reprint requests to Marit Hauschildt, University Medical Center Hamburg Eppendorf, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Martinistraße 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany. E-mail:


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Generic and Illness-Specific Quality of Life in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

  • Marit Hauschildt (a1), Lena Jelinek (a1), Sarah Randjbar (a1), Birgit Hottenrott (a1) and Steffen Moritz (a1)...
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