Course And Prognosis

Skoog & Skoog (1999) provide information about the natural course of OCD. In-patients with OCD (N = 144) were examined between 1954 and 1956, and then re-examined by the same doctor between 1989 and 1993. The mean length of follow-up from the onset of the illness was 47 years. Only a small number of patients received medication known to be effective as it became available towards the end of the study period. Four-fifths of the patients had improved but only half of all the patients had recovered, and three-fifths of these still had subclinical symptoms. Most improvements occurred early in the course of the disorder. A younger age of onset predicted a poorer outcome, especially in men. Often the illness initially ran an intermittent course and a chronic course was more common in the later follow-up period. Goodwin, Guze & Robins (1969) found three categories of course emerged from their review of follow up studies (before effective medication was available). About 10 % had an unremitting and chronic course; a further group had episodes of illness with periods of complete remission and the course for the majority was episodes of illness with incomplete remission. A further study in secondary care, which did not control for type of treatment offered, showed that over a two-year period, 12 % achieved full remission, 47 % achieved partial remission and there was a 48 % chance of relapse having achieved remission (Eisen et al., 1999).

Koran et al. (1996) suggests that moderate to severe OCD is associated with a marked negative impact on quality of life. Data from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Epidemiologic Catchment Area survey (ECA) has shown an association between OCD and employment difficulties, especially chronic unemployment in men (Leon, Portera & Weissman, 1995) and another study found marital distress in about half of married people seeking treatment (Emmelkamp, De Haan & Hoogduin, 1990).

In summary, patients with OCD often delay many years before seeking treatment and the illness is often disabling and chronic. However there are effective treatments and studies have shown that patients can respond to treatment even after several decades of illness (Skoog & Skoog, 1999). Treatments aim to improve social functioning and quality of life by reducing symptoms and reducing the impact of symptoms.

Blood Pressure Health

Blood Pressure Health

Your heart pumps blood throughout your body using a network of tubing called arteries and capillaries which return the blood back to your heart via your veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats.Learn more...

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