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Revista de Psiquiatria do Rio Grande do Sul

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FERRAO, Ygor Arzeno et al. Clinical features and family history in obsessive-compulsive outpatients. Rev. psiquiatr. Rio Gd. Sul [online]. 2004, vol.26, n.3, pp.274-279. ISSN 0101-8108.

INTRODUCTION: The occurrence of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in families suggests the existence of clinical differences between patients with (FH+) and without (FH-) a family history of OCD. This study aims at assessing the association between family history of OCD and some clinical features. MATERIAL AND METHODS: 111 patients were retrospectively studied (review of medical records) at the outpatient clinic at Hospital Materno-Infantil Presidente Vargas, in Porto Alegre, Brazil, between July 1994 and July 2002. RESULTS: Mean age at onset of symptoms was lower in the FH+ group (17.8 years ± 8.69 vs. 20.8 years ± 9.65; p = 0.000963). The severity of obsessive-compulsive symptoms (YBOCS) was higher in the FH+ group (22.5 ± 4.16 vs. 17.93 ± 9.95; p < 0.001). Hoarding was also more frequently found in the FH+ group: four of 15 patients (26.6%) vs. three of 69 patients (4.3%); p = 0.029. We found no significant difference in the variety of drugs used in the treatment of the two groups, as well as in the frequency of application of the cognitive-behavioral therapy. Eight of 15 patients (53.3%) with a family history and 13 of 69 patients (18.8%) without a family history of OCD had to complement the psychopharmacological therapy (p = 0.022). CONCLUSION: In our study, OCD patients with a positive family history of the disease showed earlier onset of symptoms, more severe symptoms according to YBOCS and the need for a more complex treatment scheme. Hoarding was also more frequent in this group. Prospective studies, with information collected directly from patients and their families, as well as the inclusion of randomized control groups, are necessary to further confirm these results.

Keywords : Obsessive-compulsive disorder; family history; hoarding.

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