Obsessive compulsive disorder with and without hoarding symptoms: Characterizing differences

J Affect Disord. 2019 Mar 1;246:652-658. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2018.12.115. Epub 2018 Dec 27.


Objective: In recent years there has been some ambiguity about the way hoarding and OCD are related to each other. The present study examines the differences between persons with OCD/hoarding and OCD/non-hoarding and examines which characteristics are associated with the OCD/hoarding group. Information is established about prevalences, socio-demographical characteristics, OCD and related characteristics, OCD subtypes, comorbidity (depression, anxiety disorders and PTSD) and personality traits.

Methods: Data from baseline assessment of The Netherlands Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Association (NOCDA) study are used. The NOCDA sample consists of 419 participants between 18 and 79 years of age, including participants with current or remitted full DSM-IV-TR criteria for OCD.

Results: Results show that 58 persons (14.3%) are classified as persons with OCD/hoarding and 349 persons (85,7%) are classified as persons with OCD/non-hoarding. OCD/hoarding is independently associated with severity of autism symptoms (p<.001), living without a partner (p<.05) and being less conscientious (p<.05). Persons with OCD/hoarding are not associated with childhood trauma (p=.31), PTSD (p=.91) and AD(H)D, inattentive type (p=.22) and hyperactive type (p=.57).

Limitations: Causal interferences about associations between the risk indicators and hoarding symptoms were precluded since results were based on cross-sectional data.

Conclusion: This study confirmed differences between persons with OCD/hoarding and persons with OCD/non-hoarding. The most relevant outcome of this study was the association between persons with OCD/hoarding and the increased severity of autism symptoms. These results provide a better understanding of persons with OCD/hoarding and have the potential to improve treatment.

Keywords: Autism spectrum disorders; Hoarding behavior; Living alone; OCD subtypes; Obsessive compulsive disorder; Personality traits.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Female
  • Hoarding
  • Hoarding Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Hoarding Disorder / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Young Adult