Obsessive-compulsive disorder in the perinatal period: Epidemiology, phenomenology, pathogenesis, and treatment

Álvaro Frías, Carolina Palma, Francisco Barón, Paloma Varela, Ana Álvarez, Ana Salvador

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11 Cites (Scopus)


The aim of this review is to describe the main theoretical find-ings and research conclusions about obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in the perinatal period. On one hand, epidemiological studies show that the risk of OCD onset and/or exacerbation could increase in this period, par-ticularly in the puerperium. Phenomenologically, in this stage aggressive and contamination obsessions are very common and are related to the fe-tus or newborn. On the other hand, regarding OCD pathogenesis in this period, there is indirect evidence to suggest the participation of neuroendo-crine (e.g. female gonadal steroids and oxytocin) and cognitive behavioural variables (e.g. hyper-responsibility, threat overestimation, and mental con-trol). In terms of research, more empirical studies are needed to contrast these specific vulnerability factors. Moreover, no empirically validated psy-chotherapeutic treatments (controlled trials) adapted to this OCD sub-group were found, although some studies highlight the role of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as an effective intervention in the context of se-lective primary prevention.

Títol traduït de la contribucióTrastorno obsesivo-compulsivo durante el período perinatal: Epi-demiología, fenomenología, etiopatogenia y tratamiento
Idioma originalAnglès
Pàgines (de-a)1-7
Nombre de pàgines7
RevistaAnales de Psicologia
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 2015


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