Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms



Obsessions are defined as thoughts, ideas or images, which reoccur and persist in spite of the efforts to ignore and suppress them. Obsessions are unwelcome and distressing that repeatedly enter your mind. In some cases, obsessiveness can result in obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is necessary to differentiate obsessions from compulsions that include acts and behaviors, which a person is driven to perform.

Article 1

Endrass, T., Koehne, S., Riesel, A., & Kathmann, N. (2013). Neural correlates of feedback processing in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology (122. 2), 387-396.

The article focuses on the investigation of neural correlates concerning feedback processing that are visible in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The major rationale of the research is a necessity to study the performance monitoring process in OCD that is ambiguous in the processes where such performance is not checked through internal actions, but via external feedback in the process of learning. Moreover, there exist importance to find all possible causes and possible treatment of obsessivecompulsive disorder as patients with such disease are characterized by hyperactive performance and distorted behaviors or thoughts.

The article studies the presence of hyperactive electrocortical stimuli in feedback processing and in learning based on feedback in OCD. The paper employs a method of a deterministic reversal learning task with choice of four objects, which presupposes repeated behavioral adjustment to altering reward contingencies.

The experiment involved 25 patients with OCD disease. It showed that electrophysiological feedback processing was present in all participants. The test pointed that failures in behavioral adaptation were caused by negative feedback while feedback-related negativity (FRN) remained the same for a reversal negative feedback, but decreased for a negative feedback. Moreover, FRN decrease is explained by obsessive actions and thoughts.

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The author concludes that findings bring a significant contribution to the performance testing and offers to separate processing systems for feedback and actions with changes of both systems for patients with OCD.

Article 2

Taylor, S., Jang, K. L., & Asmundson, J. G. (2010). Etiology of obsessions and compulsions: A behavioral-genetic analysis. Journal of Abnormal Psychology (119.4), 672-682.

The paper studies etiology of compulsions and obsessions, as well as obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptoms, with the help of behavioral-genetic analysis. The major rationale is to investigate environmental and genetic etiology in different kinds of OC symptoms, etiological relations between hoarding and symptoms of checking, washing, and obsessing, also etiological association between OC symptoms and common tendency to undergo negative emotional distress.

The paper uses a method of twin studies. The article provides a research conducted on 614 adult twins. Investigation of 307 pairs of dizygotic and monozygotic adult twins showed the presence six OC symptoms, such as neutralizing, obsessing, hoarding, checking, ordering, and washing, also two emotional negative symptoms, mainly affective lability and trait anxiety. The study shows that early environments before the age of 18 of monozygotic twins are not considerably different from those of dizygotic twins.

The author concludes that genetic factors influence on all symptoms, as well as negative emotionality while environmental factors also affect all symptoms, except negative emotionality. Thus, the experiment showed that genetic factors did not depend on age or sex of participants. There was no qualitative sex varieties, mainly between women and men, and age differences within the age range from 17 to 81 years in OC symptom heritability. Behavioral-genetic test proves that the heritability of OC symptoms is comparatively stable over childhood, as well as early adolescence.

Article 3

Storch, E. A., Rasmussen, S. A., Price, L. H., Larson, M. J., Murphy, T. K., & Goodman, W. K. (2010,). Development and psychometric evaluation of the YaleBrown Obsessive-Compulsive ScaleSecond Edition. Psychological Assessment (22.2), 223-232.

The paper focuses development and psychometric assessment of the YaleBrown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (shortly known as Y-BOCS) that measures severity and presence of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) factors. Y-BOCS encompasses past psychometric studies of Symptom Checklist and Severity Scale. For this reason, the major rationale of the investigation is developing the Y-BOCSII through revision of the Severity Scale objects, avoidance integration into the Severity Scale objects, and modification of Symptom Checklist format and content.

It employs methods of Y-BOCS and exploratory factor analysis. The paper shows the experiment conducted on 130 adults with OCD disease, which includes measures evaluating typology and severity of OCD symptoms, as well as depressive and anxious symptomology. It concludes that the Y-BOCSII had a high internal consistency with Symptom Checklist and Severity Scale. An alternative Y-BOCSII method is applicable for evaluating the presence or severity of obsessive-compulsive symptoms.

Aricle 4

Woody, Sh. R., Whittal, M. L., & McLean, P. D. (2011). Mechanisms of symptom reduction in treatment for obsessions. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (79.5), 653-664.

The article explores potential mechanisms applicable for symptom reduction in the process of obsession treatment. The major objective of the paper is to study dynamic interdependence within obsession severity and cognition in the course of two opposite treatments of primary obsessions. These treatments are used with the aim of investigating the hypothesis stating that symptom reduction can be mediated by evaluation of the essence of undesired intrusive thoughts. The paper explores cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) used for reducing the frequency of obsession symptoms through changing the way patients think about them, and stress management applied for coping with stress.

A latent difference score and common mediation analysis are methods employed during the investigation, which compared stress management training and cognitive behavioral therapy among 73 participants with primary obsessions. Patients took part in twelve weeks of CBT or twelve weeks of stress management.

The test showed that change in most cognition aspects referring to obsessive-compulsive disorder was explained by a decrease in obsession severity found in the process of treatment. Analyses found out that behavioral-cognitive therapy was more advantageous for severe symptoms in comparison with stress management training. However, stress management training was more efficient for mild obsessions. The article concludes that evaluation of thoughts is a strong mediator for symptom reduction. Analyses show significance for investigating dynamic relations between suggested mediators and outcome variables.

Article 5

Olatunji, B. O., Rosenfield, D., Tart, C. D., Cottraux, J., Powers, M. B., & Smits, A. J. (2013). Behavioral versus cognitive treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder: An examination of outcome and mediators of change. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (81.3), 415-428.

The article focuses on comparison between behavioral and cognitive treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. The paper rationale is to study change of obsession symptom and suggested mediators of behavior therapy (BT) versus cognitive therapy (CT). The test involved sixty-two adult persons suffering from OCD disease. They participated in twenty training sessions of CT or BT, which included four weeks of intensive treatment and twelve weeks of sessions concerning maintenance.

The test showed that change in YaleBrown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) score was considerably larger in BT in comparison with a score in CT. Moreover, patients participating in BT obtained much lower Y-BOCS score at the last examination than CT patients. The article concludes that BT can have medical advantage over CT in OCD patient treatment. However, such advantage is not caused by distinctive aspect of giving a response by dropouts or completers. The paper states that improvement of OCD symptoms was caused by decreasing the depressed mood rather than by reducing responsibility and avoidance.

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