Impulsiveness in obsessive–compulsive disorder: results from a family study
Version of Record online: 24 MAY 2006
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Volume 115, Issue 1, pages 41–47, January 2007
How to Cite
Ettelt, S., Ruhrmann, S., Barnow, S., Buthz, F., Hochrein, A., Meyer, K., Kraft, S., Reck, C., Pukrop, R., Klosterkötter, J., Falkai, P., Maier, W., Wagner, M., Freyberger, H. J. and Grabe, H. J. (2007), Impulsiveness in obsessive–compulsive disorder: results from a family study. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 115: 41–47. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2006.00835.x
- Issue online: 24 MAY 2006
- Version of Record online: 24 MAY 2006
- Accepted for publication April 10, 2006
- obsessive–compulsive disorder;
- cognitive impulsiveness;
- neuropsychological disinhibition
Objective: Although obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is usually conceptualized as an anxiety disorder some studies suggested it to be a deficit of impulse control. The purpose of this study was to assess impulsiveness in OCD families and compare it to control families.
Method: Seventy cases and their 139 relatives were compared with 70 controls and their 134 relatives from a German family study on OCD (German Epidemiologic Network for OCD Studies). All subjects were interviewed and diagnosed according DSM-IV criteria and were administered the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS) and PADUA-Inventory to assess obsessive-compulsive symptoms.
Results: OCD subjects had significantly higher scores of cognitive impulsiveness. However, first-degree relatives of OCD cases and of controls had comparable BIS-11 scores. Significant associations of aggressive obsessions and checking with cognitive impulsiveness were found.
Conclusion: OCD is a severe mental disorder that is characterized by a lack of cognitive inhibition. However, impulsiveness does not represent a familial trait in families of OCD subjects.