Get access

Belief in the obsessional doubt as a real probability and its relation to other obsessive-compulsive beliefs and to the severity of symptomatology

Authors

  • Sébastien Grenier,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychology, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada
    2. Centre de Recherche Fernand-Seguin, Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Kieron P. O'Connor,

    1. Centre de Recherche Fernand-Seguin, Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada
    2. Department of Psychology, Université du Québec en Outaouais, Gatineau, Québec, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Claude Bélanger

    1. Centre de Recherche Fernand-Seguin, Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada
    2. Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr Sébastien Grenier, Hôpital Charles LeMoyne's Research Centre, 3120 Taschereau Blvd., Greenfield Park, Québec, J4V 2H1, Canada (e-mail: sebastien.grenier2@usherbrooke.ca).

Abstract

Objectives. Despite the important role of doubt in understanding obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), current cognitive models of OCD usually do not separate this initial doubt from the anticipated consequence of not ritualizing. The current study evaluates belief in the obsessional doubt as a real probability as an additional cognitive dimension of obsessive-compulsive (OC) beliefs.

Methods. One hundred and fifteen participants with OCD completed four clinical scales measuring different OC beliefs in: (a) the real probability of obsessional doubt; (b) the realism of anticipated consequences; (c) the degree of conviction in the need to perform rituals; and (d) the perceived ability to resist rituals. The severity of symptomatology was also evaluated.

Design. Using cross-sectional and longitudinal data, correlational analyses were performed to determine the relationship between OC beliefs as well as to observe how these beliefs may be related to the severity of symptomatology and how they fluctuated over time. Regression analyses were also employed to verify which OC beliefs better predicted the perceived ability to resist rituals.

Results. Belief in the obsessional doubt as a real probability was significantly related to other OC beliefs. Also, levels of belief for the same doubt remained stable for a period of two weeks, but different levels of belief were observed for distinct obsessional doubts measured at the same time. Finally, belief in the obsessional doubt as a real probability better predicted the perceived ability to resist rituals than other OC beliefs.

Conclusions. Belief in the obsessional doubt as a real probability may be an important dimension to consider when evaluating OC beliefs in treatment resistant OCD, particularly in people who have low perceived ability to resist rituals.

Ancillary