Psychological dissociation in obsessive-compulsive disorder is associated with anxiety level but not with severity of obsessive-compulsive symptoms.

OBJECTIVE: According to recent findings, clinical symptoms in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) seem be related with dissociation. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the relationship of psychological dissociation and clinical characteristics in OCD.

METHODS: The study sample comprised of 49 patients with OCD (55.1% females) and 45 healthy controls (66.7% females). All participants were assessed with the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory-II, and the Beck Anxiety Inventory. Dissociation was quantified by the Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES).

RESULTS: Psychological dissociation assessed with the DES was associated with the severity of anxiety symptoms (beta=0.49, t=3.89, df=47, p<0.001), but not with the level of OCD symptoms. Patients had higher level of dissociation than healthy controls.

CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that the level of psychological dissociation is associated with the severity of anxiety symptoms rather than with OCD symptoms. Further investigation of association between dissociative and anxiety states is needed.

 Full text PDF