Obsessive compulsive disorder in veterans in primary care: Prevalence and impairment

Daniel F. Gros, Kathryn M. Magruder, B. Christopher Frueh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Objective: Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a severely impairing psychiatric disorder with an estimated 12-month prevalence of 0.39% to 1.20% in community settings. However, there has been little research on the prevalence of OCD in primary care settings and veteran samples. Thus, the present study investigated prevalence, comorbidity, and physical and mental health impairment of veterans with OCD. Method: A total of 854 veterans participated in a cross-sectional investigation in primary care clinics in four Veteran Affairs Medical Centers. Participants completed the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview, Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale and Short-Form Health Survey. Results: A total of 1.9% of participants met the diagnostic criteria for OCD based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. Participants with OCD were significantly younger and demonstrated greater psychiatric comorbidity than participants without OCD. Participants with OCD also reported significantly more severe physical health impairment (role limitation, pain, general health), mental health impairment (emotional well-being, role limitations, energy/fatigue) and impairment in social functioning than participants without OCD. Conclusions: These findings demonstrate moderately high prevalence and severe impairment associated with OCD in veterans, thus highlighting the need for improved recognition, assessment and specialized treatments for OCD in primary care settings and with veteran patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-73
Number of pages3
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • Comorbidity
  • Impairment
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Prevalence
  • Primary care
  • Quality of life
  • Veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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