Obsessive-compulsive symptoms and schizophrenia spectrum disorders: the impact on clinical and psychopathological features. A descriptive study on acute inpatients

G. Menculini 1, P.M. Balducci 1, L. Attademo 2, F. Bernardini 3, E. Lucarini 1, P. Moretti 1, R. Quartesan†, A. Raballo 1, A. Tortorella 1

1 Department of Psychiatry, University of Perugia, Italy; 2 SPDC Potenza, Department of Mental Health, ASP Basilicata, NHS, Italy; 3 CSM 24h Area delle Dolomiti Friulane – Department of Mental Health – AAS5 Friuli Occidentale, Italy; †Retired


Obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS) have often been described in schizophrenia spectrum disorders, contributing to the overall complexity of the clinical presentation, over and above the canonical symptom dimensions. The main aim of this study is to investigate the prevalence of OCS and its relationship with contextual psychopathology in a sample of acute psychotic inpatients within the schizophrenia spectrum. 


76 subjects consecutively admitted with a diagnosis of schizophrenia spectrum disorder underwent a systematic psychopathological assessment including the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) and the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). Descriptive and bivariate analyses were performed in order to identify clinical and psychopathological correlates of the schizo-obsessive subgroup, defined as a Y-BOCS score ≥ 17.


44.7% of the participants revealed significant OCS. No significant differences were detected in terms of socio-demographic, diagnostic and treatment features. Subjects with clinically relevant OCS presented higher scores in the negative and general psychopathology subscales, as well as a higher PANSS total score (Tab. I). 


High levels of OCS are relatively frequent in inpatients with schizophrenia and identify a subgroup with higher symptomatological severity. Screening for OCS in newly admitted subjects with schizophrenia might facilitate the timely identification of a subgroup with more intensive need of care.

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