2000 OCF Grant

Lifetime traumatic experiences and post traumatic disorder in patients seeking treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder

Beth S. Gershuny, PhD

Massachusetts General Hospital/McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA); University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)

Award Amount: $9,750

At the time of this study, patients with combined OCD and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were often not responsive to behavioral therapies and pharmacological treatments. More research was needed regarding the prevalence of trauma and PTSD in OCD patients who sought treatment. 

This study by Drs. Gershuny, Baer, Foa, and their team analyzed the traumatic experiences of 104 participants with treatment-resistant OCD to determine the prevalence of trauma and PTSD. 82% of participants had a history of trauma and almost half met diagnostic criteria for PTSD, suggesting a strong link between traumatic experiences and OCD that does not respond to treatments. Events such as childhood sexual abuse, witnessing violence in childhood, and experiencing a natural disaster were strong predictors of PTSD severity; comorbid major depressive disorder and borderline personality disorder were also strongly linked to meeting PTSD criteria.


Resulting Publication:

*Gershuny, B.S., Baer, L., Parker, H., Gentes, E.L., Infield, A.L., & Jenike, M.A. (2008). Trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder in treatment-resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder. Depression and Anxiety, 25, 69-71. doi:10.1002/da.20284