Visual stimuli are often used for obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptom provocation in research studies. We tested the induction of anxiety and OC checking symptoms across different types of checking provocation stimuli in three populations: individuals with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), individuals with checking symptoms but without a diagnosis of OCD, and control individuals with neither checking symptoms nor a clinical diagnosis. One set of provocative images depicted objects that are commonly associated with checking anxiety. Another set (‘enhanced provocative images’) depicted similar objects but also included contextual cues suggesting a specific harmful scenario that could occur. As expected, the enhanced provocative images were more effective at inducing anxiety and OC symptoms than the standard provocative images. Future studies requiring checking symptom provocation should therefore consider incorporating similarly suggestive images. Individuals with clinical OCD reported the greatest provocation in response to these images, followed by those with nonclinical checking, followed by control individuals. Thus, these stimuli are able to provoke OC checking symptoms and anxiety differentially across groups, with the intensity of provocation reflecting diagnostic status. All groups demonstrated a similar qualitative pattern of provocation across images. Finally, in all groups, reported anxiety closely tracked intrusive thoughts and checking urges.
|Number of pages||7|
|State||Published - Jul 2018|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by NIMH ( R01 MH100068 , MH ; R01 MH095790 , CP) and by the State of Connecticut through its support of the Ribicoff Research Facilities at the Connecticut Mental Health Center. The views expressed represent those of the authors, and not of the State of Connecticut. Authors H. Brooks and S. Monahan contributed to this study while participating in the summer internship program organized by the Yale Child Study Center.
© 2018 Elsevier B.V.
- Anxiety [F01.470.132]
- Compulsive Behavior [F01-145-527-100]
- Obsessive Behavior [F01.145.126.950]
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder [F03-080-600]
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry