Sensory phenomena associated with repetitive behaviors in obsessive-compulsive disorder: An exploratory study of 1001 patients

Sensory phenomena associated with repetitive behaviors in obsessive-compulsive disorder: An exploratory study of 1001 patients

Author Ferrao, Ygor Arzeno Google Scholar
Shavitt, Roseli Gedanke Google Scholar
Prado, Helena Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Fontenelle, Leonardo F. Google Scholar
Malavazzi, Dante Marino Google Scholar
Mathis, Maria Alice de Google Scholar
Hounie, Ana Gabriela Google Scholar
Miguel, Euripedes Constantino Google Scholar
Rosario, Maria Conceicao do Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Institution Fed Univ Sch Hlth Sci Porto Alegre
Presidente Vargas Maternal & Infant Hosp
Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP)
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)
Universidade de São Paulo (USP)
Abstract A substantial number of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) report compulsions that are preceded not by obsessions but by subjective experiences known as sensory phenomena. This study aimed to investigate the frequency, severity, and age at onset of sensory phenomena in OCD, as well as to compare OCD patients with and without sensory phenomena in terms of clinical characteristics. We assessed 1,001 consecutive OCD patients, using instruments designed to evaluate the frequency/severity of OC symptoms, tics, anxiety, depression, level of insight and presence/severity of sensory phenomena. All together, 651 (65.0%) subjects reported at least one type of sensory phenomena preceding the repetitive behaviors. Considering the sensory phenomena subtypes, 371 (57.0%) patients had musculoskeletal sensations, 519 (79.7%) had externally triggered just-right perceptions, 176 (27.0%) presented internally triggered just right, 144 (22.1%) had an energy release, and 240 (36.9%) patients had an urge only phenomenon. Sensory phenomena were described as being as more severe than were obsessions by 102(15.7%) patients. Logistic regression analysis showed that the following characteristics were associated with the presence of sensory phenomena: higher frequency and greater severity of the symmetry/ordering/arranging and contamination/washing symptom dimensions; comorbid Tourette syndrome, and a family history of tic disorders. These data suggest that sensory phenomena constitute a poorly understood psychopathological aspect of OCD that merits further investigation. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords Obsessive-compulsive disorder
Sensory phenomena
Repetitive behavior
Repetitive movement
Language English
Sponsor Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq)
National Council for Scientific and Technological Development
Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP)
Grant number National Council for Scientific and Technological Development: 420.122/2005-2
FAPESP: 2005/55628-8
Date 2012-05-30
Published in Psychiatry Research. Clare: Elsevier B.V., v. 197, n. 3, p. 253-258, 2012.
ISSN 0165-1781 (Sherpa/Romeo, impact factor)
Publisher Elsevier B.V.
Extent 253-258
Access rights Closed access
Type Article
Web of Science ID WOS:000308768100012

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