Longitudinal course of body-focused repetitive behaviors in obsessive-compulsive disorder

Jon E. Grant, Maria C. Mancebo, Marc E. Mooney, Jane L. Eisen, Steven A. Rasmussen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The course of body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs) (eg, trichotillomania, skin picking, and nail biting) has received scant research attention. We sought to understand the longitudinal course of BFRBs over an 8-year period and whether the co-occurrence of a BFRB with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) affects the course of OCD.

METHODS: Three hundred ninety-five participants with OCD completed annual interviews using the Longitudinal Interval Follow-up Evaluation to estimate BFRB and OCD symptom severity during each week of follow-up.

RESULTS: Of the 395 participants, 83 (21%) had a co-occurring BFRB. In almost one-half of the participants, BFRB onset occurred before OCD. Participants with OCD and BFRB spent the majority of the rating period experiencing full BFRB symptoms. Having a BFRB was associated with spending less time in remission from OCD.

CONCLUSIONS: Although BFRBs have long been known to be common in individuals with OCD, these data demonstrate that most individuals who have a co-occurring BFRB with OCD do not experience BFRB remission and that having a BFRB predicts a worse course for OCD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-191
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of clinical psychiatry : official journal of the American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015


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