The epidemiology of obsessive--compulsive disorder in Spanish school children

J Anxiety Disord. 2012 Oct;26(7):746-52. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2012.06.003. Epub 2012 Jun 23.


We aimed to assess the prevalence (at three levels of severity) and other epidemiological data of OCD in a sample of 1,514 Spanish non-referred children. The estimated prevalence was 1.8% for OCD, 5.5% for subclinical OCD and 4.7% for OC symptomatology. We did not find significant differences between genders or academic grade regarding OC symptoms and OCD, but more subclinical prevalence was found in males than in females. Socio-demographic variables were not related to any level of OCD, but academic performance was significantly lower in clinical OCD. The co-morbidity between OCD and any psychiatric disorder was high (85%) and higher for emotional disorders than for behavioral disorders. The impairment was associated with comorbidity and was worse for OCD with comorbid emotional problems. The results suggest that OCD is not rare in school children and adolescents and that it has an impact on their personal functioning. We suggest the possibility of an early diagnosis and treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Compulsive Behavior / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obsessive Behavior / epidemiology*
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Schools
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires