The Utility of Obsessive Compulsive Analogue Research: A Comparison of OCD Patient, Analogue, and Nonclinical Samples Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Fabricant, Laura
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Many researchers interested in studying obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) often include individuals who do not meet full diagnostic criteria for OCD, but who experience some obsessive compulsive (OC) symptoms, as study participants. While research using these analogue samples is common, it is unclear as to how closely they resemble samples of individuals with a diagnosis of OCD. The current study thus examined the relationship between analogue and clinical samples in order to better understand the generalizability of data from these analogue samples. Specifically, this study compared an OC analogue sample to an OCD clinical sample, as well as to a healthy control group, on the following domains: OC symptom content, the frequency and severity of both obsessions and compulsions, distress and interference related to these symptoms, endorsement of obsessional beliefs that contribute to the development and maintenance of OC symptoms, and rates of psychiatric comorbidity. We found that the analogue group scored below the clinical group, and above the control group, on measures of OC symptom severity, frequency, and impairment. Furthermore, the analogue group did not differ from the clinical group, but did differ from controls, in terms of OC symmetry symptoms, the presence of both obsessions and compulsions across content areas, and patterns of comorbidity. Finally, an important area of difference between sub-clinical and clinical OCD may be in the relationship between obsessional beliefs and OC symptoms. Taken together these results provide general support for the use and utility of OC analogue samples and are largely consistent with dimensional perspectives of OCD.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Baucom, Donald
  • Shanahan, Lilly
  • Penn, David L.
  • Abramowitz, Jonathan
  • Bardone-Cone, Anna
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2015
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
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