Obsessive-compulsive disorder: admission patterns and diagnostic stability

A case-register study


*Institute of Psychiatric Demography, Psychiatric Hospital in Århus, Skovagervej 2, DK-8240 Risskov, Denmark


All first-time admissions from 1970 to 1986 with obsessive-compulsive neurosis (OCD) (ICD-8 diagnosis number 300.39) or obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) (ICD-8 diagnosis number 301.49) were analyzed based on an extract from the nationwide Psychiatric Case Register in Denmark. All patients with secondary diagnoses other than neurotic disorders or personality disorders (including “neuroses characterogenes”) were excluded from the study. A total of 284 patients were first-time admitted with a main diagnosis of OCD during the period. The sex ratio was 0.67 (males/females). A total of 126 were first-time admitted with a diagnosis of OCPD, with a sex ratio of 1.18 (males/females). Seventy-seven percent of the readmitted patients with a first-time diagnosis of OCD kept a diagnosis within the “emotional spectrum” at the last admission. About half kept OCD as a main diagnosis, whereas only 15% shifted to a severe psychiatric diagnosis such as schizophrenia or manic-depressive psychosis. Of the readmitted patients with OCPD. 13% later developed a diagnosis of manic-depressive psychosis.