Anxiety symptoms in obsessive-compulsive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder
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Uniwersytet Jagielloński Collegium Medicum, Katedra Psychoterapii
Submission date: 2018-09-20
Final revision date: 2019-03-05
Acceptance date: 2019-03-05
Online publication date: 2019-08-31
Publication date: 2019-08-31
Corresponding author
Anna Citkowska-Kisielewska   

Katedra Psychoterapii UJ CM
Psychiatr Pol 2019;53(4):845-864
Due to the co-occurrence of symptoms of anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorders, and the hypothesis about common etiopathological factors, we performed a research addressing the occurrence and severity of anxiety symptoms, the severity of groups of neurotic symptoms, and conducted factor analyses in two groups of patients: diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

Material and methods:
A retrospective study was conducted on two groups of patients: 76 – diagnosed with OCD, and 186 – diagnosed with GAD. The source of information about the presence and severity of symptoms was the Symptom Checklist “O” (KO“O”). The impact of sex and the presence or absence of cognitive impairments (Bender’s and Benton’s tests) on the investigated associations were accounted for.

No significant differences in the severity of most anxiety symptoms were found between the groups of patients diagnosed with OCD or GAD. Patients with GAD were characterized by a significantly higher intensity of phobic disorders, conversion disorders, cardiac autonomic dysfunctions, and hypochondria, when compared to patients with OCD. Factor analyses identified the existence of three similar factors in the OCD and the GAD groups: 'anxiety/depressiveness', 'obsessions' and 'compulsions'. Additional factors were, among others, 'depressiveness' in OCD and separation anxiety in GAD.

The research indicates that anxiety plays a significant role in the clinical picture of OCD and may reach a severity similar to that observed in GAD. The presence and severity of anxiety and somatization symptoms can be associated with the presence of cognitive impairments, which requires further investigation.

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