The cost and impact of compulsivity: A research perspective

Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2016 May;26(5):800-9. doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2016.02.006. Epub 2016 Feb 10.


Compulsivity is the defining feature of various psychiatric disorders including Obsessive Compulsive Related Disorders (OCRDs), and other compulsive, impulsive, and addictive disorders. These disorders are disabling, chronic conditions with an early onset and high rates of comorbidity, misdiagnoses, and delay in treatment onset. Disorders of compulsivity are responsible for considerable socioeconomic burden to society. We review the costs and impacts of compulsivity. In order to facilitate earlier diagnosis and targeted treatments, we examine the overlapping mechanisms that underlie compulsivity. We reconceptualize psychiatric disorders based on core features of compulsivity, highlight challenges in harmonizing research in children and adults, describe newer research methodologies, and point to future directions that can impact the costs and impact of disorders of compulsivity.

Keywords: Compulsivity; Cost; Diagnosis; OCD; OCRDs; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antipsychotic Agents / economics
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / diagnosis
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / drug therapy
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / economics
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / therapy*
  • Biomedical Research / economics
  • Biomedical Research / methods*
  • Biomedical Research / trends
  • Child
  • Combined Modality Therapy / economics
  • Compulsive Behavior / diagnosis
  • Compulsive Behavior / drug therapy
  • Compulsive Behavior / economics
  • Compulsive Behavior / therapy*
  • Compulsive Personality Disorder / diagnosis
  • Compulsive Personality Disorder / drug therapy
  • Compulsive Personality Disorder / economics
  • Compulsive Personality Disorder / therapy*
  • Cost of Illness
  • Health Care Costs
  • Humans
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / drug therapy
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / economics
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / therapy*
  • Psychopharmacology / economics
  • Psychopharmacology / methods*
  • Psychopharmacology / trends
  • Quality of Life


  • Antipsychotic Agents