J Psychiatr Res 2012 Jun 31;46(6):724-32. Epub 2012 Mar 31.
Department of Neurology, Psychology and Psychiatry, Botucatu Medical School, Univ Estadual Paulista, Botucatu (SP), Brazil.
Background: Factor analyses indicate that hoarding symptoms constitute a distinctive dimension of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), usually associated with higher severity and limited insight. The aim was to compare demographic and clinical features of OCD patients with and without hoarding symptoms.
Method: A cross sectional study was conducted with 1001 DSM-IV OCD patients from the Brazilian Research Consortium of Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Disorders (CTOC), using several instruments. The presence and severity of hoarding symptoms were determined using the Dimensional Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale. Statistical univariate analyses comparing factors possibly associated with hoarding symptoms were conducted, followed by logistic regression to adjust the results for possible confounders.
Results: Approximately half of the sample (52.7%, n = 528) presented hoarding symptoms, but only four patients presented solely the hoarding dimension. Hoarding was the least severe dimension in the total sample (mean score: 3.89). The most common lifetime hoarding symptom was the obsessive thought of needing to collect and keep things for the future (44.0%, n = 440). After logistic regression, the following variables remained independently associated with hoarding symptoms: being older, living alone, earlier age of symptoms onset, insidious onset of obsessions, higher anxiety scores, poorer insight and higher frequency of the symmetry-ordering symptom dimension. Concerning comorbidities, major depressive, posttraumatic stress and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders, compulsive buying and tic disorders remained associated with the hoarding dimension.
Conclusion: OCD hoarding patients are more likely to present certain clinical features, but further studies are needed to determine whether OCD patients with hoarding symptoms constitute an etiologically discrete subgroup.