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Jänsch, Petra; Zaudig, Michael; Röper, Gisela; Hauke, Walter; Piesbergen, Christoph and Butollo, Willi (2007): Der frühe Beginn der Zwangsstörung: Einfluss auf Symptomatik und Schweregrad. In: Verhaltenstherapie, No. 1: pp. 37-43 [PDF, 95kB]

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Introduction: This study investigates if obsessive compulsive disorder with early onset differs in severity and symptomatology from that with late onset. Patients and Methods: A sample of 370 patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD; ICD 10 F42) who received in-patient treatment at the psychosomatic clinic of Windach between 1998 and 2002 were divided into an early-onset group (onset <= 15 years) and a late-onset group (onset = 16 years). Groups were compared regarding ICD-10 diagnosis and Y-BOCS scores. Results: Considering severity of the disorder 20.5% of the early-onset group but merely 8.7% of the late-onset group suffered from an extreme form of OCD. With respect to symptomatology, the early-onset group was diagnosed with `obsessions and compulsions, mixed' (76.9%) more often than the late-onset group (61.8%). Also, the early-onset group reported a wider variety of symptoms both for the present and for the past than the late-onset group (present 8,2 vs 7.0; past 5.5 vs 3.9 types of symptoms). There were also differences in the content of rumination and types of compulsive rituals. Conclusions: Patients with early-onset OCD seem to be more frequently affected by an extreme form of OCD and to experience a higher variety of symptoms than patients with late-onset OCD. If early-onset OCD can be considered a distinct subtype could not be answered unequivocally by the results of this study. This question needs additional research.

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