Long-term course of pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder: 3 years of prospective follow-up

Maria C. Mancebo, Christina L. Boisseau, Sarah L. Garnaat, Jane L. Eisen, Benjamin D. Greenberg, Nicholas J. Sibrava, Robert L. Stout, Steven A. Rasmussen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Objective This study assesses the long-term course of treatment-seeking youth with a primary diagnosis of DSM-IV OCD.

Method Sixty youth and their parents completed intake interviews and annual follow-up interviews for 3 years using the youth version of the Longitudinal Interval Follow-up Evaluation (Y-LIFE) and Children's Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (CY-BOCS). Remission was defined as no longer meeting DSM-IV criteria for OCD for 8 weeks or more, and recurrence was defined as meeting full criteria for OCD for 4 consecutive weeks after having achieved symptom remission. Remission rates for youth were compared to rates of adults participating in the same study.

Results The probability of achieving partial remission of OCD was 0.53 and the probability of achieving full remission was 0.27. Among the 24 youth participants who achieved remission, 79% stayed in remission throughout the study (mean of 88 weeks of follow-up) and 21% experienced a recurrence of symptoms. Better functioning at intake and a shorter latency to initial OCD treatment were associated with faster onset of remission (P <.001).

Conclusions Remission is more likely among youth versus adults with OCD. Treatment early in the course of illness and before substantial impact on functioning predicted a better course.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1498-1504
Number of pages7
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes


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