Perfectionism in obsessive-compulsive disorder and related disorders: What should treating clinicians know?

Anthony Pinto, Navin Dargani, Michael G. Wheaton, Cynthia Cervoni, Clare S. Rees, Sarah J. Egan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Perfectionism is known to be highly prevalent in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This review seeks to explore perfectionism in OCD and related disorders, particularly in relation to treatment, in order to inform treating clinicians. We also evaluate the potential role of perfectionism in the maintenance of OCD. Evidence supports perfectionism as a transdiagnostic process central to the psychopathology of OCD and other mental illnesses. Treatment outcomes in EX/RP for OCD are diminished in the presence of perfectionism, which is thought to be due to inherent treatment interfering features of perfectionism. Successful OCD treatment has been shown to decrease perfectionistic thinking, though data are mixed on whether reducing perfectionism mediates subsequent reductions in OCD symptoms. Short-term cognitive behavioral protocols for perfectionism are reviewed here and recommendations are made for the treatment of perfectionism in the context of OCD and related disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-108
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders
Volume12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • OCD
  • Perfectionism
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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