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Psychiatry Journal
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 565191, 10 pages
Clinical Study

Cognitive Performance in a Subclinical Obsessive-Compulsive Sample 1: Cognitive Functions

1National Centre for Occupational Rehabilitation, Haddlandsvegen 20, 3864 Rauland, Norway
2Research Center for Behavioral Economics, FOM Hochschule, Grüneburgweg 102, 60323 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Received 31 January 2013; Revised 12 June 2013; Accepted 15 June 2013

Academic Editor: Umberto Albert

Copyright © 2013 Thomas Johansen and Winand H. Dittrich. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Individuals who are not clinically diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) but still display obsessive-compulsive (OC) tendencies may show cognitive impairments. The present study investigated whether there are subgroups within a healthy group showing characteristic cognitive and emotional performance levels similar to those found in OCD patients and whether they differ from OCD subgroups regarding performance levels. Of interest are those cases showing subclinical symptomatology. The results revealed no impairments in the subclinical OC participants on the neuropsychological tasks, while evidence suggests that there exist high and low scores on two standardised clinical instruments (Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale and Cognitive Assessment Instrument of Obsessions and Compulsions) in a healthy sample. OC symptoms may diminish the quality of life and prolong sustainable return to work. It may be that occupational rehabilitation programmes are more effective in rectifying subclinical OC tendencies compared to the often complex symptoms of diagnosed OCD patients. The relationship between cognitive style and subclinical OC symptoms is discussed in terms of how materials and information might be processed. Although subclinical OC tendencies would not seem to constitute a diagnosis of OCD, the quality of treatment programmes such as cognitive behavioural therapy can be improved based on the current investigation.