Obsessive-compulsive disorder in children and adolescents.

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BACKGROUND: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common psychiatric condition that usually emerges during childhood or adolescence. Over 80% of individuals with OCD have their onset before age 18 years. Epidemiologic studies suggest a prevalence of 1-2% for adolescents. METHOD: This article reviews current knowledge of paediatric OCD in the following areas: age of onset, nosology and classification, subtypes, prevalence, aetiology, pathophysiology, assessment, prognosis and treatment. RESULTS: Essential components of treatment include long-term commitment, care management and illness education. Specific components of treatment include cognitive-behavioural therapy, parent behaviour management training and medication. CONCLUSIONS: The most effective treatments are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (e.g. fluvoxamine, sertraline) and exposure/response prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-96
Number of pages6
JournalThe British journal of psychiatry. Supplement
Issue number35
StatePublished - 1998


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