Impact of COVID-19 on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Impact of COVID 19 on existing OCD patients
Objective: Handwashing is now considered as one of the best safety measures to prevent COVID-19 infection. The effect of excessive handwashing for health on OCD patients who are already having washing compulsion is not known. Furthermore, the fear of contamination of COVID-19 in patients who already have obsession of contamination is not known. This study aims to evaluate the effect of COVID-19 on OCD patients.
Method: Phone interviews were done with 84 patients previously diagnosed with obsession of contamination and compulsive washing. Yale Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale was used and the scores of the participants were compared to their prepandemic scores.
Results: Only 5 patients (6%) had exacerbation of symptoms after the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the patients did not report any deterioration of symptoms due to the pandemic.
Conclusion: Handwashing protocol does not aggravate the washing compulsion of patients. Similarly, the fear of infection with COVID-19 does not increase their fear of contamination.
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