Background: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD) frequently co-occur in persons with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We studied which features distinguish ‘pure’ anxiety disordered patients from those with co-morbid ASD. Method: In a case-controlled design in which groups were matched for age, sex and educational level, patients with OCD or SAD and co-morbid ASD were compared with patients with ‘pure’ (i.e. without ASD) OCD, with ‘pure’ SAD and a control group, using the Autism Questionnaire (AQ), Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scales, Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale, Beck Anxiety Inventory and questions on egodystonia of OC behaviors. Results: No between patient group differences were found on social or general anxiety measures. The AQ subscales communication problems and lack of imagination discriminated best between patients with comorbid ASD and the other groups, ASD patients showing elevated scores, whereas the other patient groups scored equal to controls. On the AQ social skill subscale all patient groups showed elevated scores. On OC symptom severity, pure OCD patients showed highest scores, whereas comorbid ASD subjects scored intermediate between controls and the pure OCD group, the differences being explained by lower obsession severity in the ASD group. There were no differences between the pure OCD and comorbid ASD groups on egodystonia. Conclusion: Patients with comorbid ASD differ from patients with pure OCD and SAD on autism-related problem behaviors, but there is also overlap between groups, possibly reflecting overlapping etiologies. Despite the relatively small sample size, these data strongly suggest that specific autism symptom domains should be assessed to pick up autism-related problems in OCD and SAD patients, and subsequently fine-tune treatment programs for these patients.

This content is only available via PDF.
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.