Long-term outcomes of OCD in patients with at least one other anxiety disorder
A new study looks at the rate of remission of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in patients who have at least one (other) anxiety disorder. The results indicate that only 16% go into remission by one year after onset, but over 40% have gone into remission of their OCD by 15 years later. In some cases, those whose OCD has gone into remission experience a re-emergence of their OCD later on.
Although I haven’t yet obtained the full article, it would appear that this study was likely done using adult participants. If that’s the case, it’s not clear what the pattern or outcomes would be for those whose OCD had a childhood onset.
Here’s the abstract:
BACKGROUND: Although obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is typically described as a chronic condition, relatively little is known about the naturalistic, longitudinal course of the disorder. The purpose of the current study was to examine the probability of OCD remission and recurrence as well as to explore demographic and clinical predictors of remission.
METHODS: This study uses data from the Harvard/Brown Anxiety Disorders Research Program, which is a prospective, naturalistic, longitudinal study of anxiety disorders. Diagnoses were established by means of a clinical interview at study intake. One hundred thirteen Harvard/Brown Anxiety Disorders Research Program participants with OCD were included in the study; all had a history of at least 1 other anxiety disorder. Assessments were conducted at 6-month and/or annual intervals during 15 years of follow-up.
RESULTS: Survival analyses showed that the probability of OCD remission was .16 at year 1, .25 at year 5, .31 at year 10, and .42 at year 15. For those who remitted from OCD, the probability of recurrence was .07 at year 1, .15 by year 3, and by year 5, it reached .25 and remained at .25 through year 15. In predictors of course, those who were married and those without comorbid major depressive disorder (MDD) were more likely to remit from OCD. By year 15, 51% of those without MDD remitted from OCD compared to only 20% of those with MDD.
CONCLUSIONS: In the short term, OCD appears to have a chronic course with low rates of remission. However, in the long term, a fair number of people recover from the disorder, and, for those who experience remission from OCD, the probability of recurrence is fairly low.
Compr Psychiatry. 2011 Feb 22.
Longitudinal course of obsessive-compulsive disorder in patients with anxiety disorders: a 15-year prospective follow-up study.
Marcks BA, Weisberg RB, Dyck I, Keller MB.