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Quality of life in obsessive compulsive disorder

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2013


Alexandra S. Macy
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry at David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California–Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA
Jonathan N. Theo
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and University of California–Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA
Sonia C. V. Kaufmann
Affiliation:
Pacific Hospital of Long Beach, Long Beach, California, USA
Rassil B. Ghazzaoui
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, American University in Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon, and Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
Paul A. Pawlowski
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and Keck School of Medicine at University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
Hala I. Fakhry
Affiliation:
Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
Brian J. Cassmassi
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Waguih William IsHak
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and University of California–Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has a profound impact with a high disease burden. In order to truly understand the scope of the effect OCD has on the patient population, one must take into account not only the relentless symptoms beleaguering the patients but also examine their overall ability to enjoy their life. Quality of life (QOL) assessments/improvements are becoming an increasingly important component of healthcare, especially in the mental health field. This review examines QOL in OCD, as well as the influence of comorbidities, and the impact that OCD treatment has on QOL. We searched MEDLINE/PUBMED and PsycINFO databases from 1980–2011 using keywords “obsessive compulsive disorder” OR “OCD” AND “quality of life” OR “QOL.” Fifty-eight studies meeting specific selection criteria were ultimately included in this review. The results show that QOL in OCD is significantly impaired when compared to QOL in the general population and in patients with other psychiatric and medical disorders. Likewise, QOL in OCD also appears to be largely affected by comorbid conditions, which should be taken into account when developing a treatment plan. Furthermore, QOL in OCD has been shown to improve with medications and with both individual and group psychotherapy, albeit not to the levels enjoyed by community norms. QOL assessment in both clinical and research settings is important to examine the disease burden, to monitor treatment effectiveness, and to determine full recovery from OCD. Treatment providers should strive to not only reach symptom abatement, but also to assure that patients have regained satisfaction and functioning in their daily lives.


Type
Review Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012

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