Course and clinical correlates of obsessive-compulsive disorder with or without comorbid personality disorder

Gina M. Belli, Clara Law, Immanuela C. Obisie-Orlu, Jane L. Eisen, Steven A. Rasmussen, Christina L. Boisseau*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Personality disorders (PDs) are often comorbid with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) which may influence symptom presentation and course. This investigation sought to examine the impact of comorbid PDs on clinical presentation and symptom chronicity in a large, prospective longitudinal OCD study. Methods: Participants (n = 263) were treatment-seeking adults with a primary diagnosis of OCD separated into two groups: individuals with and without a co-occurring PD. We conducted two-tailed t-tests to compare symptom severity, functioning, and quality of life between the OCD + PD group (n = 117) and the OCD w/o PD group (n = 146). Chronicity analyses were conducted to compare the amount of time in-episode for OCD and major depressive disorder (MDD) between the two groups. Results: The OCD + PD group reported greater OCD and depression severity, lower levels of psychosocial functioning and worse quality of life than the OCD w/o PD group. The OCD + PD group exhibited greater OCD and MDD symptom chronicity; over 5 years the OCD + PD group spent 16.2 % weeks longer at full criteria for OCD and three times as many weeks in episode for MDD than the OCD w/o PD group. Limitations: Focusing on PDs as a group limited our ability to make observations about specific PDs. Further, the participants in our sample were predominantly White and all were treatment seeking which limits the generalizability of our findings. Conclusions: Our results suggest that those with OCD and comorbid PDs present with greater overall impairment and may require additional considerations during treatment conceptualization and planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-223
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
StatePublished - Mar 1 2024


  • Longitudinal
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Personality disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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