Insight in obsessive-compulsive disorder: A study of an Italian sample

Donatella Marazziti, Liliana Dell'Osso, Elena Di Nasso, Chiara Pfanner, Silvio Presta, Francesco Mungai, Giovanni B. Cassano

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Insight is a complex phenomenon that can be interpreted according to a dimensional model. Given the controversial data of insight in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), our study aimed to investigate insight in an Italian sample of patients with OCD by means of the specific item on the Yale-Brown obsessive-compulsive scale (Y-BOCS) and to explore the possible correlations between it and clinical features. One hundred and seventeen out-patients with a DSM-IV diagnosis of OCD and different comorbid psychiatric disorders were included in the study and assessed by means of the Y-BOCS, Hamilton rating scale for depression (HRSD) and the global clinical impression. The results showed that almost 50% of the patients had an excellent level of insight and 15% had a little or no insight. No correlation between levels of insight and clinical features was observed, except for a negative trend with the presence of somatic obsessions. In addition, a trend towards a lower level of insight was observed in those bipolar patients with a positive history of repeated manic or hypomanic episodes. Further studies seem to be necessary in order to establish whether or not OCD patients with poor insight represent a distinct sub-group of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-410
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Psychiatry
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2002


  • Insight
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • OCD sub-typing
  • Y-BOCS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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