Quality of Life in Children and Youth with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

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Objective: The study examined clinical correlates of quality of life (QoL), impact of treatment on QoL, and predictors of QoL change among children with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Methods: One hundred forty-two children with primary OCD who were enrolled as part of a larger clinical trial participated. Children were administered a structured diagnostic interview, as well as clinician-administered measures of OCD and depression symptom severity. Children and parents completed reports of QoL, as well as measures of impairment and internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Youth received 10 sessions of family-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

Results: At baseline, QoL was inversely related to obsessive-compulsive symptom severity, impairment, externalizing and internalizing symptoms, and severity of depression symptoms according to children and parents. After CBT, QoL improved according to parent ratings, but not child ratings. None of the predictors examined were associated with changes in QoL scores over time. Impairment, and externalizing and internalizing symptoms predicted QoL after accounting for OCD symptom severity. After accounting for OCD symptoms, externalizing symptoms inversely predicted changes in QoL.

Conclusion: These data suggest that QoL is related to more severe clinical presentation and improves with evidence-based treatment, but QoL improvements may be inversely related to externalizing symptomology.

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Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, v. 28, issue 2, p. 104-110