Quality of Life in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

  • Julio Bobes
  • M.-P. GarcÍa-Portilla
  • Maria-Teresa BascarÁn
  • Pilar-Alejandra SÁiz
  • Maria-Teresa Bobes-BascarÁn
  • Manuel BousoÑo


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a severe mental disorder with a lifetime prevalence of 1.6{%} in the US population, although the identified obsessive-compulsive spectrum may affect up to 10{%} of the US population. Furthermore, OCD is a chronic, profoundly disabling illness that impacts negatively on the academic, occupational, social and family patients’ functioning as well as on their families’ lives. Indeed, OCD is tenth in the World Bank’s and WHO’s ten leading causes of disability ranking.

A growing number of treatments have been recently shown to be useful for OCD symptoms and, to a less degree, for the disabilities that the disorder involves.

In spite of all the above mentioned benefits and disabilities, there are relatively few reports on quality of life in patients with OCD and on the relationship between patients’ quality of life and clinical variables, particularly about the effect of available treatments on quality of life.

Since the first published paper on the topic, there has been a general agreement that moderate and severe OCD show lower quality of life level than that of the general population, other mentally ill patients (depressed and heroin dependent patients) and that of patients with chronic medical conditions (such as diabetes type II and kidney transplant patients). Areas that have been found to be the most impaired are social functioning and role limitations due to emotional problems.

In this chapter we will discuss in depth recent findings, controversies and concerns regarding quality of life of obsessive-compulsive disorder patients and its treatment, as well as provide future direction and areas of interest

Key words

Quality of life Obsessive-compulsive disorder Anxiety disorders 


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Copyright information

© springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julio Bobes
    • 1
  • M.-P. GarcÍa-Portilla
    • 1
  • Maria-Teresa BascarÁn
    • 1
  • Pilar-Alejandra SÁiz
    • 1
  • Maria-Teresa Bobes-BascarÁn
    • 1
  • Manuel BousoÑo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of OviedoSpain

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