The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patients with OCD: Effects of contamination symptoms and remission state before the quarantine in a preliminary naturalistic study

Prestia Davide, Pozza Andrea, Olcese Martina, Escelsior Andrea, Dettore Davide, Amore Mario

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The containment measures implemented to reduce the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic can increase the risk of serious mental disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The general fear of getting infected and the importance given to personal hygiene, may have a negative impact on this clinical population. In a group of patients with OCD who had completed an evidence-based therapeutic path for OCD before the quarantine, this study evaluated the changes on OCD symptoms during the quarantine and investigated the effects of contamination symptoms and remission state before the quarantine on OCD symptom worsening during the quarantine. The Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive (Y-BOCS) Severity score, administered before the quarantine, was re-administered after six weeks since the beginning of the complete lockdown. A significant increase in obsession and compulsion severity emerged. Remission status on OCD symptoms and having contamination symptoms before the quarantine were significantly associated with more elevated OCD symptom worsening during the quarantine. To our knowledge, this is the first study which assessed OCD symptoms at the COVID-19 time. Our results support the need to improve relapse prevention during the period of social restrictions and develop alternative strategies such as online consultations and digital psychiatric management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113213
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume291
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Contamination
  • Coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Lockdown
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Quarantine
  • Y-BOCS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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