Gabriele Masi, Stefano Berloffa, Maria Mucci, Chiara Pfanner, Giulia D'Acunto, Francesca Lenzi, Francesca Liboni, Azzurra Manfredi, Annarita Milone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Growing evidence supports the comorbidity between bipolar disorder (BD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in children and adolescents. Our aim is to further explore clinical and treatment implications of this comorbidity, as it appears in clinical practice. Method: The sample included 429 consecutive patients with BD and/or OCD as primary diagnoses, followed for a mean period of 6 months (range 4–9 months), 172 with BD (102 males, mean age 13.7±2.9 years), 169 with OCD (118 males, mean age of 13.2±2.7 years) and 88 with comorbid BD+OCD (56 males, mean age 14.2±2.6 years, 52 with BD as the primary diagnosis), followed for a mean period of 6 months (range 4–9 months). The comorbid group was compared to pure BD and OCD groups, to explore differential clinical and treatment features. Results: The BD-OCD comorbidity was found in 33.8% of the BD patients and in 34.2% of the OCD patients. Age at onset of BD and OCD were not different in pure and “comorbid” groups. The comorbid group presented a higher occurrence of BD type II and hoarding symptoms, and more frequently received a psychotherapy and second generation antipsychotics, but it presented the poorest outcome in terms of response to treatments. Severity at baseline (clinical severity and functional impairment), hoarding obsessions and compulsions, and conduct disorder comorbidity were associated with a treatment non-response. Limitations: A selection bias may have increased the rate of comorbidity, as most of the patients were referred to our tertiary hospital for severe BD and/or OCD and pharmacological treatment. We have used CGI-I as an outcome measure, not a specific measure of BD or OCD symptoms’ severity and improvement. The short duration of the follow-up may limit our conclusions. Conclusions: The timely identification of BD-OCD comorbidity may have relevant clinical implications in terms of symptomatology, course, treatment and outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-26
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Publication statusPublished - Apr 15 2018


  • Adolescents
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Children
  • Comorbidity
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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