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“Was it real or did I imagine it?” Perfectionistic beliefs are associated with dissociative absorption and imaginative involvement in obsessive-compulsive disorder

Authors Pozza A, Dèttore D

Received 22 April 2019

Accepted for publication 6 July 2019

Published 1 August 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 603—607


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Mei-chun Cheung

Andrea Pozza, Davide Dèttore

Department of Health Sciences, University of Florence, Florence, Italy

Background and objectives: In the literature there are inconsistent data regarding the role of dissociation in OCD. No study explored the association between obsessive beliefs and dissociative symptoms in OCD. It is important to understand which clinical factors are related to dissociation in OCD as more severe dissociative symptoms, particularly absorption, have been found to be predictors of treatment non-response. In the present short report we describe the results of an exploratory study aimed to investigate the role of the obsessive beliefs as predictors of the different dissociative symptoms controlling for anxiety and OCD severity in a group of OCD patients.
Methods: Sixty treatment-seeking patients consecutively referred to psychiatric services were included (mean age=31.17 years, 53.30% females). The Dissociative Experiences Scale-II, the Obsessive Beliefs Questionnaire-46, the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale, and the Beck Anxiety Inventory were administered.
Results: Higher anxious symptoms predicted higher Dissociative Amnesia, Depersonalization/Derealization, and Absorption/Imaginative Involvement. Higher OCD severity predicted higher Dissociative Amnesia. More severe Perfectionism predicted higher Absorption/Imaginative Involvement.
Conclusion: Perfectionism in OCD patients may be associated with a higher tendency to absorption and imaginative involvement. Future research should explore whether a psychotherapeutic intervention on perfectionism might improve the outcomes of the OCD patients with higher absorption tendencies.

Keywords: obsessive-compulsive disorder, obsessive beliefs, dissociative symptoms, perfectionism, reality monitoring

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