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Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by recurrent, intrusive thoughts and/or behaviors. OCD symptoms are often triggered by external stimuli. Therefore, it has been suggested that difficulty inhibiting responses to stimuli associated with strong action tendencies may underlie symptoms. The present electrophysiological study examined whether stimuli evoking a strong automatic response are associated with enhanced action tendencies in OCD participants relative to healthy controls.
The lateralized readiness potential (LRP) and the N2 event-related potential (ERP) components were used as measures of action tendencies and inhibition, respectively. ERPs were recorded while 38 participants diagnosed with OCD and 38 healthy controls performed a variation of the Stroop task using colored arrows.
The OCD group presented with larger LRP amplitudes than the control group. This effect was found specifically in the incongruent condition. Furthermore, an interaction effect was found between group and congruency such that the OCD group showed a reduced N2 in the incongruent condition compared to the congruent condition, whereas the control group demonstrated the opposite effect. Results support the hypothesis that OCD is characterized by stronger readiness-for-action and impaired inhibitory mechanisms, particularly when the suppression of a dominant response tendency is required. Our results were supported by source localization analyses for the LRP and N2 components. These findings were specific to OCD and not associated with anxiety and depression symptoms.
The present results support the notion of stronger habitual behavior and embodiment tendencies in OCD and impaired inhibitory control under conditions of conflict.
Whether the first-degree relatives (FDRs) of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have an increased risk of the major psychiatric disorders, namely schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, OCD, major depressive disorder (MDD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), remains unclear.
Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database with the whole population sample size (n = 23 258 175), 89 500 FDRs, including parents, offspring, siblings, and twins, of patients with OCD were identified in our study. The relative risks (RRs) of major psychiatric disorders were assessed among FDRs of patients with OCD.
FDRs of patients with OCD had higher RRs of major psychiatric disorders, namely OCD (RR 8.11, 95% confidence interval (CI) 7.68–8.57), bipolar disorder (RR 2.85, 95% CI 2.68–3.04), MDD (RR 2.67, 95% CI 2.58–2.76), ASD (RR 2.38, 95% CI 2.10–2.71), ADHD (RR 2.19, 95% CI 2.07–2.32), and schizophrenia (RR 1.97, 95% CI 1.86–2.09), compared with the total population. Different familial kinships of FDRs, such as parents, offspring, siblings, and twins consistently had increased risks for these disorders. In addition, a dose-dependent relationship was found between the numbers of OCD probands and the risk of each major psychiatric disorder.
The FDRs, including parents, offspring, siblings, and twins, of patients with OCD have a higher risk of OCD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, MDD, ADHD, and ASD. The familial co-aggregation of OCD with OCD and other major psychiatric disorders was existent in a dose-dependent manner. Given the increased risks of psychiatric disorders, medical practitioners should closely monitor the mental health of the FDRs of patients with OCD.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a severe mental disorder with poor response to the available treatments. Neuroimaging studies have identified dysfunctions within the orbito-fronto-striato-pallido-thalamic network in patients with OCD. Here, we assessed the efficacy and safety of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) applied with the cathode over the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and the anode over the right cerebellum to decrease OCD symptoms in patients with treatment-resistant OCD.
In a randomized sham-controlled double-blind study, 21 patients with OCD were assigned to receive ten 20-min sessions (two sessions per day) of either active (2 mA) or sham tDCS. The clinical symptoms were measured using the Yale-Brown Obsessive and Compulsive Scale (YBOCS). Acute effects on the symptoms were measured from baseline to immediately after the 10 tDCS sessions. Long-lasting effects were measured 1 and 3 months after the 10th tDCS session.
Compared with the sham tDCS, active tDCS significantly decreased OCD symptoms immediately after the 10th tDCS session (F(1,19) = 5.26, p = 0.03). However, no significant differences were observed between the active and sham groups in terms of changes in YBOCS score or the number of responders one and 3 months after tDCS.
Despite significant acute effects, tDCS with the cathode placed over the left OFC and the anode placed over the right cerebellum was not significantly effective in inducing a long-lasting reduction of symptoms in patients with treatment-resistant OCD.
Reassurance seeking (RS) in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is commonly addressed in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) using a technique called reducing accommodation. Reducing accommodation is a behaviourally based CBT intervention that may be effective; however, there is a lack of controlled research on its use and acceptability to clients/patients, and case studies suggest that it can be associated with negative emotional/behavioural consequences. Providing support to encourage coping with distress is a cognitively based CBT intervention that may be an effective alternative, but lacks evidence regarding its acceptability.
This study aimed to determine whether support provision may be a more acceptable/endorsed CBT intervention for RS than a strict reducing accommodation approach.
Participants and familiar partners (N = 179) read vignette descriptions of accommodation reduction and support interventions, and responded to measures of perceived intervention acceptability/adhereability and endorsement, before completing a forced-choice preference task.
Overall, findings suggested that participants and partners gave significantly higher ratings for the support than the accommodation reduction intervention (partial η2 = .049 to .321). Participants and partners also both selected the support intervention more often than the traditional reducing accommodation intervention when given the choice.
Support provision is perceived as an acceptable CBT intervention for RS by participants and their familiar partners. These results have implications for cognitive behavioural theory and practice related to RS.
Anxiety disorders are among the most prevalent psychiatric conditions. Despite many proven pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments available, high rates of partial response and low rates of long-term remission remain. Ketamine has been receiving increasing attention as an interventional treatment modality in psychiatry, especially among refractory conditions, including major depressive disorder. There is limited yet growing evidence to support the use of ketamine in anxiety disorders. In this review of the literature, we present case reports, case series, and controlled trials demonstrating proof-of-concept for its potential role in the treatment of anxiety and anxiety spectrum disorders. Its unique mechanism of action, rapid onset, and high rate of response have driven its use in clinical practice. Ketamine is generally well tolerated by patients and has a limited side effect profile; however, the effects of long-term use are unknown. While there is a growing body of research and increasing clinical experience to suggest ketamine may have clinical applications in the treatment of refractory anxiety disorders, further research to determine long-term safety and tolerability is indicated.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder with significant morbidity whose pathophysiology is not fully understood. Neuroimaging studies have characterized OCD in terms of elevated striatal and prefrontal reactivity to emotion provocation. This neural model may be informed by investigation of functional connectivity in OCD, identifying alterations in how sensory information is integrated into frontostriatal regions.
The current study employed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to compare neural activity and connectivity in 31 OCD patients (12 washing and 19 checking subtypes) and 17 healthy volunteers in an emotion provocation paradigm using visual stimuli.
OCD status was associated with hyper-activation of the posterior cingulate (PCg) in response to emotion provocation. Additionally, OCD patients demonstrated elevated PCg functional connectivity with the visual cortices and frontostriatal regions. Exploratory analyses suggested that stimulus-provoked activity and connectivity was elevated for checking subtypes in motor cortices, and elevated in washing subtypes in the anterior insula and orbitofrontal cortex.
The PCg's role in moderating connectivity between the visual cortex and frontolimbic regions is muted in OCD, consistent with the PCg's suggested role in regulating attention towards emotional stimuli. Exploratory analyses suggest distinct PCg connectivity profiles in OCD subtypes, with checking linked to motor activation, but washing linked to a network supporting emotional salience. The study was not powered to fully investigate the effects of medication, patients often endorsed secondary symptom subtypes that muddied washing/checking distinctions, and the emotion provocation paradigm was of limited intensity compared to life stressors.
Watching videotaped personal compulsions together with a therapist might enhance the effect of cognitive–behavioural therapy in obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) but little is known about how patients experience this.
To performed a qualitative study that describes how watching these videos influences motivation for treatment and whether patients report any adverse events.
In this qualitative study, data were gathered in semi-structured interviews with 24 patients with OCD. The transcripts were coded by two researchers. They used a combination of open and thematic coding and discrepancies in coding were discussed.
The experience of watching videos with personal compulsions helped patients to realise that these compulsions are aberrant and irrational. Patients report increased motivation to resist their OCD and to adhere to therapy. No adverse events were reported.
Videos with personal compulsions create more awareness in patients with OCD that compulsions are irrational, leading to enhanced motivation for treatment.
An obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) subtype has been associated with streptococcal infections and is called pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococci (PANDAS). The neuroanatomical characterization of subjects with this disorder is crucial for the better understanding of its pathophysiology; also, evaluation of these features as classifiers between patients and controls is relevant to determine potential biomarkers and useful in clinical diagnosis. This was the first multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA) study on an early-onset OCD subtype.
Fourteen pediatric patients with PANDAS were paired with 14 healthy subjects and were scanned to obtain structural magnetic resonance images (MRI). We identified neuroanatomical differences between subjects with PANDAS and healthy controls using voxel-based morphometry, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and surface analysis. We investigated the usefulness of these neuroanatomical differences to classify patients with PANDAS using MVPA.
The pattern for the gray and white matter was significantly different between subjects with PANDAS and controls. Alterations emerged in the cortex, subcortex, and cerebellum. There were no significant group differences in DTI measures (fractional anisotropy, mean diffusivity, radial diffusivity, and axial diffusivity) or cortical features (thickness, sulci, volume, curvature, and gyrification). The overall accuracy of 75% was achieved using the gray matter features to classify patients with PANDAS and healthy controls.
The results of this integrative study allow a better understanding of the neural substrates in this OCD subtype, suggesting that the anatomical gray matter characteristics could have an immune origin that might be helpful in patient classification.
Since 2013, hoarding disorder has been recognised as a standalone diagnosis in the DSM, affecting an estimated 2–6% of the general population. This article outlines the arguments for and against this separate classification and considers the differentiation of hoarding disorder from normative collecting. It then discusses aetiology, assessment, course and treatment (both psychological and pharmacological interventions). It concludes with a discussion of ethical and legal considerations, in particular the fact that the inclusion of hoarding disorder as a distinct diagnosis in DSM-5 confers specific protections for people with the disorder under the Equality Act 2010.
•Be able to define the criteria of hoarding disorder
•Be able to recognise the difference between hoarding and collecting
•Understand potential treatment options for patients with hoarding disorder
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) are neurodevelopmental disorders with considerable overlap in terms of their defining symptoms of compulsivity/repetitive behaviour. Little is known about the extent to which ASD and OCD have common versus distinct neural correlates of compulsivity. Previous research points to potentially common dysfunction in frontostriatal connectivity, but direct comparisons in one study are lacking. Here, we assessed frontostriatal resting-state functional connectivity in youth with ASD or OCD, and healthy controls. In addition, we applied a cross-disorder approach to examine whether repetitive behaviour across ASD and OCD has common neural substrates.
A sample of 78 children and adolescents aged 8–16 years was used (ASD n = 24; OCD n = 25; healthy controls n = 29), originating from the multicentre study COMPULS. We tested whether diagnostic group, repetitive behaviour (measured with the Repetitive Behavior Scale-Revised) or their interaction was associated with resting-state functional connectivity of striatal seed regions.
No diagnosis-specific differences were detected. The cross-disorder analysis, on the other hand, showed that increased functional connectivity between the left nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and a cluster in the right premotor cortex/middle frontal gyrus was related to more severe symptoms of repetitive behaviour.
We demonstrate the fruitfulness of applying a cross-disorder approach to investigate the neural underpinnings of compulsivity/repetitive behaviour, by revealing a shared alteration in functional connectivity in ASD and OCD. We argue that this alteration might reflect aberrant reward or motivational processing of the NAcc with excessive connectivity to the premotor cortex implementing learned action patterns.
Compulsivity refers to a tendency toward repetitive habitual behaviors. Multiple disorders have compulsive symptoms at their core, including substance use disorders, gambling disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The aim of this study was to validate a scale for the objective, transdiagnostic measurement of compulsivity.
The 15-item Cambridge–Chicago Compulsivity Trait Scale (CHI-T) was developed for the rapid but comprehensive measurement of compulsivity. Adults aged 18–29y were recruited using media advertisements, and completed the CHI-T in addition to demographic, clinical, and cognitive assessment. The validity and psychometric properties of the scale were quantified.
A total of 112 participants completed the study. The scale yielded a normal distribution with very few outliers. It had excellent psychometric properties, with high internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha=0.8), and excellent convergent validity against gold-standard assessments of compulsive symptoms (each p<0.001 for gambling disorder, obsessive-compulsive, and substance use disorder symptoms). Total scores on the scale correlated significantly with less risk-adjustment on the decision-making task (rigid response style), and divergent validity was confirmed against other cognitive domains (response inhibition and executive planning). The above significant findings withstood Bonferroni correction. Factor analysis suggested the existence of two latent factors: one related mainly to reward-seeking and the need for perfection, and the other relating to anxiolytic/soothing features of compulsivity.
The CHI-T, a scale designed to measure transdiagnostic compulsivity, appears to show excellent psychometric properties in a normative population and merits further investigation in the context of clinical patient populations, including in treatment trials.
Impulsivity and impaired decision-making have been proposed as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) endophenotypes, running in OCD and their healthy relatives independently of symptom severity and medication status. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) targeting the ventral limb of the internal capsule (vALIC) and the nucleus accumbens (Nacc) is an effective treatment strategy for treatment-refractory OCD. The effectiveness of vALIC-DBS for OCD has been linked to its effects on a frontostriatal network that is also implicated in reward, impulse control, and decision-making. While vALIC-DBS has been shown to restore reward dysfunction in OCD patients, little is known about the effects of vALIC-DBS on impulsivity and decision-making. The aim of the study was to compare cognitive impulsivity and decision-making between OCD patients undergoing effective vALIC-DBS or treatment as usual (TAU), and healthy controls.
We used decision-making performances under ambiguity on the Iowa Gambling Task and reflection impulsivity on the Beads Task to compare 20 OCD patients effectively treated with vALIC-DBS, 40 matched OCD patients undergoing effective TAU (medication and/or cognitive behavioural therapy), and 40 healthy subjects. Effective treatment was defined as at least 35% improvement of OCD symptoms.
OCD patients, irrespective of treatment modality (DBS or TAU), showed increased reflection impulsivity and impaired decision-making compared to healthy controls. No differences were observed between OCD patients treated with DBS or TAU.
OCD patients effectively treated with vALIC-DBS or TAU display increased reflection impulsivity and impaired decision-making independent of the type of treatment.
Cognitive models of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) posit dysfunctional appraisal of disorder-relevant stimuli in patients, suggesting disturbances in the processes relying on amygdala–prefrontal connectivity. Recent neuroanatomical models add to the traditional view of dysfunction in corticostriatal circuits by proposing alterations in an affective circuit including amygdala–prefrontal connections. However, abnormalities in amygdala–prefrontal coupling during symptom provocation, and particularly during conditions that require stimulus appraisal, remain to be demonstrated directly.
Amygdala–prefrontal connectivity was examined in unmedicated OCD patients during appraisal (v. distraction) of symptom-provoking stimuli compared with an emotional control condition. Subsequent analyses tested whether hypothesized connectivity alterations could be also identified during passive viewing and the resting state in two independent samples.
During symptom provocation, reductions in positive coupling between amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex were observed in OCD patients relative to healthy control participants during appraisal and passive viewing of OCD-relevant stimuli, whereas abnormally high amygdala–ventromedial prefrontal cortex coupling was found when appraisal was distracted by a secondary task. In contrast, there were no group differences in amygdala connectivity at rest.
Our finding of abnormal amygdala–prefrontal connectivity during appraisal of symptom-related (relative to generally aversive) stimuli is consistent with the involvement of affective circuits in the functional neuroanatomy of OCD. Aberrant connectivity can be assumed to impact stimulus appraisal and emotion regulation, but might also relate to fear extinction deficits, which have recently been described in OCD. Taken together, we propose to integrate abnormalities in amygdala–prefrontal coupling in affective models of OCD.
Explicit measures of disgust and threat overestimation have consistently been found to be involved in contamination aversion. However, evidence of the involvement of these factors at the implicit level is mixed, and the role of both responses has not been looked at concurrently. This study aimed to compare the ability of implicit and explicit measures of disgust and threat overestimation to predict contamination aversion and whether this depends on the type of contaminant. Sixty-five participants completed explicit and implicit measures of disgust and threat overestimation, as well as several measures of contamination aversion, including obsessive-compulsive tendencies, and contamination fear and avoidance of contaminants directly associated with disease (direct contaminants) and harmful substances (harm contaminants). It was found that both explicit disgust and explicit threat overestimation predicted contamination-fear obsessive-compulsive tendencies. Explicit disgust predicted contamination fear and avoidance of direct contaminants, whereas explicit threat overestimation predicted contamination fear and avoidance of harm contaminants. The involvement of implicit processes was weak, with some suggestion of difficulty disengaging predicting avoidance of contaminants. Implications for understanding dysfunctional contamination aversion are discussed.
Background: Cognitive theorists posit that inflated responsibility beliefs contribute to the development of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Salkovskis et al. (1999) proposed that experiencing heightened responsibility, overprotective parents and rigid rules, and thinking one influenced or caused a negative life event act as ‘pathways’ to the development of inflated responsibility beliefs, thereby increasing risk for OCD. Studies in adults with OCD and non-clinical adolescents support the link between these experiences and responsibility beliefs (Coles et al., 2015; Halvaiepour and Nosratabadi, 2015), but the theory has never been tested in youth with current OCD. Aims: We provided an initial test of the theory by Salkovskis et al. (1999) in youth with OCD. We predicted that childhood experiences proposed by Salkovskis et al. (1999) would correlate positively with responsibility and harm beliefs and OCD symptom severity. Method: Twenty youth with OCD (age 9‒16 years) completed a new child-report measure of the experiences hypothesized by Salkovskis et al. (1999), the Pathways to Inflated Responsibility Beliefs Scale-Child Version (PIRBS-CV). Youth also completed the Obsessive Beliefs Questionnaire-Child Version (Coles et al., 2010) and the Obsessive Compulsive Inventory-Child Version (Foa et al., 2010). Results: Consistent with hypotheses, the PIRBS-CV was significantly related to responsibility and harm beliefs and OCD symptom severity. Conclusions: Results provide initial support for the theory proposed by Salkovskis et al. (1999) as applied to youth with OCD. Future studies are needed to further assess the model in early-onset OCD.
The obsessive-compulsive core dimensions model posits that compulsions are driven by harm avoidance, or to counteract a sense of incompleteness, known as ‘not just right experiences’ (NJREs). Evidence suggests NJREs are associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms and maladaptive perfectionism. However, manipulations of NJREs have focused on the visual system, and have not been examined in the context of arousal fears associated with anxiety sensitivity (AS). This study examined the relationship between OC symptoms, perfectionism, and AS using in vivo manipulations of NJREs across visual, auditory, and tactile sensory modalities. Using a 2 (NJRE vs. JRE) × 2 (AS vs. no AS) between-subjects design, participants (N = 132) completed behavioural tasks designed to elicit NJREs and assess task discomfort and urge to counteract sensory-specific stimuli. Strong relationships were observed between task ratings and self-report measures of NJREs, incompleteness, OCD symptoms, maladaptive perfectionism, and AS. Those in the NJRE conditions gave significantly higher task ratings compared to JRE conditions; however, there was no main effect for AS. While maladaptive perfectionism and AS were significant predictors of task performance, there was no interaction between the two. The results confirm and extend research suggesting a strong association between NJREs and incompleteness motivations, as well as sensory-affective disturbance in OCD.
Background: Cognitive behavioural interventions for excessive reassurance seeking (ERS) typically focus on encouraging individuals to refrain from seeking any reassurance and in some cases banning caregivers (e.g. family members) from providing it. However, this blanket consideration that reassurance is a bad thing that should simply be stopped may not always be appropriate or helpful. Cognitive behavioural treatment (CBT) targeting ERS by helping the sufferer to shift from seeking reassurance to seeking support may be a promising treatment intervention. Aims: This study aims to examine the targeted treatment of ERS in an older adult who has been suffering from severe obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) for seven decades. Method: Using a single case quasi-experimental design (ABCD), the frequency of reassurance seeking, urges to seek reassurance, OCD beliefs and anxiety were measured daily for almost a year in addition to standard symptom measures. Results: At the end of treatment, visual inspection showed that reassurance seeking was no longer considered excessive and OCD severity fell from the severe to non-clinical range across the treatment sessions. All treatment gains were maintained at follow-up. Conclusions: This study illustrates how CBT can be successfully applied to treat long-standing OCD and ERS in an older adult. Engendering support as an alternative to reassurance seeking in CBT may be a particularly promising intervention for ERS.
We aimed to determine whether individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and demographically matched healthy individuals can be clustered into distinct clinical subtypes based on dimensional measures of their self-reported compulsivity (OBQ–44 and IUS–12) and impulsivity (UPPS–P).
Participants (n=217) were 103 patients with a clinical diagnosis of OCD; 79 individuals from the community who were “OCD-likely” according to self-report (Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory–Revised scores equal or greater than 21); and 35 healthy controls. All data were collected between 2013 and 2015 using self-report measures that assessed different aspects of compulsivity and impulsivity. Principal component analysis revealed two components broadly representing an individual's level of compulsivity and impulsivity. Unsupervised clustering grouped participants into four subgroups, each representing one part of an orthogonal compulsive-impulsive phenotype.
Clustering converged to yield four subgroups: one group low on both compulsivity and impulsivity, comprised mostly of healthy controls and demonstrating the lowest OCD symptom severity; two groups showing roughly equal clinical severity, but with opposing drivers (i.e., high compulsivity and low impulsivity, and vice versa); and a final group high on both compulsivity and impulsivity and recording the highest clinical severity. Notably, the largest cluster of individuals with OCD was characterized by high impulsivity and low compulsivity. Our results suggest that both impulsivity and compulsivity mediate obsessive-compulsive symptomatology.
Individuals with OCD can be clustered into distinct subtypes based on measures of compulsivity and impulsivity, with the latter being found to be one of the more defining characteristics of the disorder. These dimensions may serve as viable and novel treatment targets.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) share abnormalities in hot executive functions such as reward-based decision-making, as measured in the temporal discounting task (TD). No studies, however, have directly compared these disorders to investigate common/distinct neural profiles underlying such abnormalities. We wanted to test whether reward-based decision-making is a shared transdiagnostic feature of both disorders with similar neurofunctional substrates or whether it is a shared phenotype with disorder-differential neurofunctional underpinnings.
Age and IQ-matched boys with ASD (N = 20), with OCD (N = 20) and 20 healthy controls, performed an individually-adjusted functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) TD task. Brain activation and performance were compared between groups.
Boys with ASD showed greater choice-impulsivity than OCD and control boys. Whole-brain between-group comparison revealed shared reductions in ASD and OCD relative to control boys for delayed-immediate choices in right ventromedial/lateral orbitofrontal cortex extending into medial/inferior prefrontal cortex, and in cerebellum, posterior cingulate and precuneus. For immediate-delayed choices, patients relative to controls showed reduced activation in anterior cingulate/ventromedial prefrontal cortex reaching into left caudate, which, at a trend level, was more decreased in ASD than OCD patients, and in bilateral temporal and inferior parietal regions.
This first fMRI comparison between youth with ASD and with OCD, using a reward-based decision-making task, shows predominantly shared neurofunctional abnormalities during TD in key ventromedial, orbital- and inferior fronto-striatal, temporo-parietal and cerebellar regions of temporal foresight and reward processing, suggesting trans-diagnostic neurofunctional deficits.
The appraisal model of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) suggests that six key appraisal domains contribute to the aetiology and maintenance of OCD symptoms. An accumulating body of evidence supports this notion and suggests that modifying cognitive appraisals may be beneficial in reducing obsessive-compulsive symptomatology. This literature review first summarises the nature of OCD and its treatment, followed by a summary of the existing correlational and experimental research on the role of cognitive appraisal processes in OCD across both adult and paediatric samples. While correlational data provide some support for the relationship between cognitive appraisal domains and OCD symptoms, results are inconclusive, and experimental methods are warranted to determine the precise causal relationship between specific cognitive appraisal domains and OCD symptoms.