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Voderholzer, Ulrich; Schwartz, Caroline; Thiel, Nicola; Kuelz, Anne Katrin; Hartmann, Armin; Scheidt, Carl Eduard; Schlegl, Sandra; Zeeck, Almut (2014): A comparison of schemas, schema modes and childhood traumas in obsessive-compulsive disorder, chronic pain disorder and eating disorders. In: Psychopathology, Vol. 47, No. 1: pp. 24-31


BACKGROUND In this study, we investigated early maladaptive schemas (EMS), schema modes and childhood traumas in patients suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in contrast to patients with other Axis I disorders. Based on cognitive theories on OCD, our main research question was whether schemas belonging to the domain of 'impaired autonomy and performance' are more prevalent in OCD than in both eating disorders (ED) and chronic pain disorder (CPD). SAMPLING AND METHODS EMS, schema modes and traumatic childhood experiences were measured in 60 patients with OCD, 41 with ED, 40 with CPD and 142 healthy controls. To analyze differences between the groups, MANCOVAs were conducted followed by deviation contrasts. Depression level, age and gender were considered as possible covariates. RESULTS OCD patients scored higher on 4 EMS, 2 of which belong to the domain 'impaired autonomy and performance'. ED patients had higher scores in the EMS 'emotional inhibition' and CPD patients on the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire subscale 'physical neglect'. CONCLUSIONS These results suggest that there might be typical schema patterns associated with OCD and ED. We can also conclude that a higher prevalence of traumatic experiences does not necessarily coincide with more EMS and schema modes.