Assessment of Comorbid Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Emily E. Fenlon, Caitlin M. Pinciotti, Alyssa C. Jones, Colton S. Rippey, Hannah Wild, Troy J.J. Hubert, Jordyn M. Tipsword, Christal L. Badour, Thomas G. Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are commonly comorbid and share prominent features (e.g., intrusions, safety behaviors, and avoidance). Excellent self-report and clinician-administered assessments exist for OCD and PTSD individually, but few assess both disorders, and even fewer provide instruction on differential diagnosis or detection of comorbid OCD and PTSD. To address this gap in the literature, the current paper aims to (1) highlight diagnostic and functional similarities and differences between OCD and PTSD to inform differential diagnosis, (2) outline assessment recommendations for individuals with suspected comorbid OCD and PTSD, OCD with a significant trauma history or posttraumatic symptoms, or PTSD with significant obsessive-compulsive symptoms, and (3) explore future directions to evaluate and improve methods for assessing co-occurring OCD and PTSD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-144
Number of pages19
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) declared the following potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Dr. Pinciotti reports receiving fees to be a consultant and workshop presenter with Jenna Overbaugh, LLC. Dr. Adams is supported by the National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Jones is supported by the Office of Academic Affiliations, Advanced Fellowship Program in Mental Illness Research and Treatment, Department of Veterans Affairs.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.


  • assessment
  • comorbid
  • differential diagnosis
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • posttraumatic stress disorder
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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