Prevalence and correlates of obsessive-compulsive disorder among older adults living in the community

J Anxiety Disord. 2009 Oct;23(7):858-65. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2009.04.005. Epub 2009 May 4.


The purpose of this study was to determine OCD prevalence among older adults living in the community and to examine its correlates. Data were drawn from a large population survey using a representative sample of older adults aged 65 years and over (N=2798). The 12-month prevalence rate of OCD was 1.5%. Results showed that older adults with OCD were more likely to be men compared to those having another anxiety disorder or a mood disorder. They were also more afflicted with difficulties in social functioning than respondents presenting another anxiety disorder. In spite of social disabilities, respondents with OCD had the lowest rate of health services use among those reporting anxiety or mood disorders. It is suggested that older adults with OCD did not feel the need to seek treatment because they perceived their physical and mental health more positively than others and because they were surrounded by supportive peers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / psychology*
  • Aged
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Attitude to Health
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mood Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mood Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mood Disorders / psychology
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / psychology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Quebec
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Adjustment