Background: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is associated with heterogeneous and diverse symptoms. A diagnosis is challenging when patients experience psychotic symptoms. This study aimed to evaluate the pattern of psychotic symptoms in patients with OCD.
Methods: Using semi-structured clinical interviews, 185 patients meeting the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for OCD were selected. The Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) and the Scale for the Assessment of Positive/Negative Symptoms (SAPS/SANS) were used to measure the OCD severity and insight levels and the pattern of psychotic symptoms, respectively. Characteristics of patients with and without psychotic experiences were compared.
Results: A total of 38 patients (20.5%) displayed psychotic symptoms. Delusions were observed in 63.2% of these patients, while in 13.2% of them, delusions were accompanied with negative symptoms. Men, those aged between 18 and 34 years, less educated, and singles displayed significantly higher rates of psychotic symptoms. The mean Y-BOCS score (26.42±5.07) was significantly higher in patients with psychotic symptoms than in those without (24.97±6.38).
Conclusion: The results showed that in OCD patients, psychotic symptoms are more common in young (<30 years), single, less educated, and those with severe OCD.
Keywords: obsessive-compulsive disorder; psychosis; insight.