Literature Review: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

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Obsessive compulsive disorder


An obsessive-compulsive disorder can be studied in detail since more and more data is being gathered through sophisticated methodologies that also suggest directions for future research. When I was working on research, I have noticed that there are many black holes in the nature of OCD, in its epidemiology and treatment, which encouraged me to provide research in this area. My personal concern in obsessive-compulsive disorder and intentions to explain its existence has become a major reason for finding out the way to compensate for the lack of knowledge about it. It seems there is a trend that spreads over the years that meta-analysis can compensate for methodological problems of obsessive-compulsive disorder. The biggest concern for researchers of the compulsive obsessive disorder is to identify its nature and type. I have decided to explore this phenomenon, trying to find new approaches to observe and analyze the existing data. An analysis of six dissertations, written to discuss obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), demonstrates that authors have provided deep research, trying to explore the causes of this disorder.

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Goodwin, Lipsitz, Chapman, and Fyer (2001) explore the reason of co-morbid anxiety disorders that occur among individuals with panic disorder. This study reviews high-level cognitive models of obsessive-compulsive disorder. The authors put a considerable emphasis on the way in which contemporary cognitive models can explain all of the symptomatology of this condition, rather than simply accounting for anxiety and avoidance. Goodwin et al. (2001) noted that childhood co-morbidity is associated with panic and anxiety disorders. The authors’ thorough review of the disorder was based on the observation of 201 patients, searching for the treatment at the Anxiety Disorders Clinic at the New York State Psychiatric Institute.

The above-mentioned laboratory study proved that distinctions in age have become a /considerable marker of the development of OCD among children. The future application of this material may substantially advance treatment procedures for the disorder. Exploring numerous data, the authors stated that there was no doubt that cognitive models that were implemented in the research were well advanced on current neuropsychological explanations. Unfortunately, the study has very little concern about the connection between religion and OCD.

Spofford (2009) examines research about individual differences in search of an explanation for the reason some individuals develop OCD, while others do not. Spofford, like other authors in this research, points out that nearly all community members experience intrusive thoughts with the content related to OCD themes. His sections and chapters follow previous researchers, who tended to explain all the symptomatology of this condition. After a thorough examination, the author comes to the conclusion that motivation encourages physicians to change the treatment methods of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The researcher has provided a sample that consisted of 142 individuals with OCD who participated in an intensive treatment program. The author tries to prove that a common consideration of OCD, like an unmanageable condition, is false and motivated patients can demonstrate considerable results in their treatment. He also argues that the implementation of cognitive-behavioral interventions is rather effective in the treatment of OCD. The author presents much evidence on the way exposure and response prevention is implemented into higher rates of treatment, giving positive outcomes. The study suggests that individuals who receive intensive residential treatment are more likely to show successful outcomes than those who refuse to do so. Although the role of motivation in OCD treatment has not been thoroughly explored before, the author demonstrates its importance.

Schembri (2010) is consonant with other researchers in his detailed description, supplemented with extensive examples. An obsessive-compulsive disorder is determined not only by biological factors that provide only a small portion of the condition’s susceptibility. His study presents six beliefs that help to improve the health conditions of patients with an eating disorder. Investigating obsession-compulsive symptoms, the author has noted that the need to control thoughts, intolerance of uncertainty, inflated responsibility and overestimation of threat may contribute to weight improvement, domains of eating, and body shape (Schembri, 2010).

The author made a thorough research of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and provided diagnostic cross-over and dimensional models of eating. Like the previous authors, Schembri (2010) focuses on a very close analysis of eating disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The causes of OCD are determined by obsessive beliefs, overlapping symptoms, and associated cognitive dimensions. As each of the six studies, the research was based on data preparation, research screening, and testing. To find the consistency and validity of results, data analysis was conducted using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), version 17.0. This study made a valuable contribution to OCD literature true thinking, related to obsessive beliefs and healthy eating habits.

Brakoulias (2012) gives considerable attention to current classificatory and diagnostic criteria, with an examination of differences between obsessive thinking, general worry, overvalued delusions, and ideation among the results of 154 samples of OCD diagnosis. The author provides an exploration of the condition’s phenomenology, with multiple case descriptions that help capture the disorder’s essential features. It is hoped that a careful reading of the two chapters of Section I will provide clinical trainees, beginning practitioners, and researchers with a solid foundation for the theoretical chapters that follow.

Sections of the dissertation consider various conceptual and theoretical aspects of the disorder. The paper seems to lack experimental work in the area of OCD, suffering from crippling methodological weaknesses, including the failure to control for multiple comparisons, co-morbid depression, medication, and general speed deficits. In addition, there has been a general lack of to guide experimentation. Dissertation chapters provide much advice on the challenges the behavioral therapy goes through and point to the lack of cognitive therapy’s implementation. However, on a positive note, Brakoulias concludes that recent studies have begun to address these weaknesses to strengthen theory and experimental design.

Spragg (2013), in his dissertation, covers the approaches to assessment and treatment, opening with the author’s review of psychometric properties of the major measures of OCD. The main research question tends to give an answer to how a cognitive behavioral group affects clients who share a similar difficulty. This is an appropriate question that requires an understanding of the problem, and not only its explanation. He outlined the conditions in which the OCD clients and their families live. Like every one of the six studies, the author describes and analyses common interventions used in modern medicine, discussing specific and non-specific factors of cognitive behavioral therapy. He is being rather specific when exploring group therapy, describing its advantages and disadvantages.

One of the main advantages of cognitive therapy, being in a cognitive behavioral group, is its ability to reduce shame in OCD. The paper also covers the growth of support groups and computer-delivered treatment packages. The cost-effectiveness of these programs has been reviewed. Spragg emphasizes on the need for the further development of reliable and valid instruments to assess the cognitive underpinnings of this experiment. He also demonstrates that cognitive-behavioral theories are effective tools in OCD treatment. The final section of the study concerns professional issues that consist of recommendations on training, researches, and service provision.

Hellriegel (2014) explores ‘not just the right experience’ (NJRE) in obsessive-compulsive disorder, that is a manifestation of autistic traits. He opens with clear statements about the superiority of current psychological treatments, as compared to all the available physical treatments. The doctoral thesis, like other studies used in this research, observes the clinical variables of the obsessive cognitive disorder associated with severe symptoms of OCD. Such symptoms include set-shifting difficulties, earlier age of OCD, responsibility beliefs and sensory abnormalities. The author suggests that a process of testing theoretical ideas is rather challenging since it is based only on a small sample size. Considerations were given to methodological limitations of the research due to limited populations that took part in the experiment. Finally, the appraisal displays personal insights and experiences concerning the implementation of a clinical study.

Hellriegel reviews the effectiveness of medical-based approaches to OCD. He suggests that the relationship between an eating disorder and OCD symptomatology medication should ideally be reserved for failures, drop-outs of refuses, or those with co-morbid conditions that clearly respond to medical interventions. The study provides a thorough review of the comparative data on the available drugs in terms of efficacy, safety, tolerability, side-effects, and management. The clinical features of difficult clients are reviewed, including lack of motivation, the use of subtle avoidance strategies, and lack of understanding of treatment rationale. In addition, Hellriegel (2014) considers the role of the therapeutic relationship and the critical importance of adequate case formulation in managing treatment-resistant presentations.


By summarizing results across similar studies, it has become obvious that meta-analysis has been used in counseling and psychological research of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Combining six dissertations, it is possible to make a conclusion that from the 19th century, OCD had moved from the spiritual to the medical field of inquiry. Instead of medical treatment, typical of the late 19th century, researchers opted for psychoanalysis, an attempt to resolve past conflicts in the afflicted individual by appealing to the unconscious. The results of six studies provide valuable information to scientists regarding the nature of the obsessive-compulsive disorder, overlapping symptoms, and its beliefs. The research provides valuable information about COD and its relationship with eating disorders, its symptoms-based subtypes, panic disorder, and clients’ experiences of being in a cognitive-behavioral group.

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