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, 36 (1), 35-46

Hoarding: A Review

  • PMID: 10389362

Hoarding: A Review

D J Stein et al. Isr J Psychiatry Relat Sci.


Background: Hoarding is currently categorized as a symptom of both obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. However, hoarding has also been documented in association with other psychiatric disorders, raising questions about the classification, psychobiology and treatment of these symptoms. This paper reviews the literature on hoarding.

Method: A computerized literature search was done using the MEDLINE database. Relevant references were collated and were used to obtain additional literature on hoarding behavior.

Results: Although hoarding may meet DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for a compulsion, this symptom is also seen in a range of other disorders. Nevertheless, the phenomenology of hoarding remains under-researched. In addition, the psychobiology and treatment of hoarding remains relatively poorly understood, although in certain aspects there may be some overlap with the symptoms of OCD.

Conclusions: Further research on the phenomenology, psychobiology and treatment of hoarding is clearly needed. A neuro-ethological view of hoarding as a spectrum symptom seen not only in OCD, but also in other disorders, may provide a useful heuristic for current clinical practice and for future empirical research.

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