Children With OCD Found To Have Lower Quality Of Life


Though researchers have long known that adults with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder have a lower quality of life, a new study has found that children with the disorder experience a similar situation.

The new research is one component in a larger study conducted by Scandinavian scientists called the Nordic Long-term OCD Treatment Study. The entire study explores the effects of cognitive behavioral therapy in comparison to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor medications and their effect on a person’s quality of life. According to the research, which was published in the Health and Quality of Life Outcomes Journal, the study was the largest quality of life pediatric OCD study ever conducted.

The process began with a two step randomized control study that assessed 135 children and adolescents. Patients and caregivers were both required to fill out health related surveys – the social competence and school functioning of the patients were also explored.

“We found that quality of life was markedly reduced in children with OCD, especially in those with comorbid psychiatric disorders,” Per Hove Thomsen, a clinical professor and researcher at Aarhus University in Denmark, said.

Despite the findings, Yale professor James Leckman said that studying the quality of life of children can be difficult, since many children demonstrate the symptoms of OCD even when they might not have the disorder. Usually, Leckman noted, parents don’t have their children diagnosed unless they exhibit aggressive symptoms.

Other suggestions that could compromise the study’s findings include the inability of a child to fully explain their experiences, especially after their symptoms have been treated.

Because the study was conducted on well-educated families of Caucasian origin, future research on the topic will certainly need to be conducted to address cross-cultural, demographic and socioeconomic differences to fully understand OCD and its impact on children’s quality of life. This fact was noted in the study’s abstract.

Source: Yale Daily News / Photo Credit: Flickr

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