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Keywords:

  • behaviour;
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder;
  • Prader–Willi syndrome;
  • psychological assessment

Background

Obsessive-compulsive (O-C) traits, and excessive food intake are well known behavioural manifestations among individuals with Prader–Willi Syndrome (PWS). Other unwanted behaviours are also frequently observed, but they need a more specific investigation, especially in the adult population.

Methods

The behaviour of 31 PWS adults was investigated via the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R), the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale Symptom Checklist (Y-BOCS-SC), and the Prader–Willi Behavioural Checklist (PBC). The PBC is a quick screening questionnaire prompted specifically for the investigation on adults with PWS.

Results

Statistical clustering revealed two patterns of unwanted behaviours from the PBC. Behaviours belonging to the first cluster (e.g. Excessive food intake, Skin picking) appear to be linked to the usual phenotypic manifestation of PWS. By contrast, many other behaviours (e.g. some O-C symptoms and aggressive actions) could show a relationship also to individual psychopathologies.

Conclusions

Both internal (Anxiety and Depression) and external (Hostility) difficulties in managing impulses should account for individually distinct behaviours in adults with PWS.