Comorbidity of obsessive compulsive disorder in patients with eating disorders

  • Claudia Lennkh
  • A. Strnad
  • U. Bailer
  • D. Biener
  • G. Fodor
  • M. de Zwaan
Original Research Paper


Objective: We investigated the prevalence of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) among patients with eating disorders (ED). Method: 66 female inpatients who met the DSM-IV criteria for anorexia nervosa (AN) or bulimia nervosa (BN) participated in the study The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM III-R diagnoses (SCID), the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI), the revised 90-item Symptom-Checklist (SCL-90-R), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) were carried out. Results: Twelve patients (18.2%) met the DSM-III-R criteria for lifetime OCD: 7 had a current OCD and 5 had a past history of OCD. These patients had significantly higher (more pathological) mean scores on the EDI and the SCL-90-R total scales. Analyses of the EDI subscales revealed significantly higher scores for ineffectiveness, perfectionism, interoceptive awareness, and maturity fears As expected, analyses of the SCL-90-R subscales revealed significantly higher scores for OCD In addition, there was a trend towards higher somatization scores in patients with comorbid OCD. We could not find any significant differences in the BDI and the TAS total scores. In addition, patients with comorbid OCD showed a significantly higher lifetime prevalence o bipolar disorder, simple phobia, and somatoform disorders. Discussion: Our results confirm previous reports of a strong association between ED and OCD and suggest that the prevalence of OCD may be correlated with a higher severity of the eating disorder and general psy chopathological parameters.

Key words

Eating disorders obsessive compulsive disorder comorbidity 


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Copyright information

© Editrice Kurtis 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claudia Lennkh
    • 1
  • A. Strnad
    • 1
  • U. Bailer
    • 1
  • D. Biener
    • 1
  • G. Fodor
    • 1
  • M. de Zwaan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of General PsychiatryUniversity Hospital of PsychiatryViennaAustria

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