Obsessive-compulsive disorder in children and adolescents: epidemiology, diagnosis and management

Ahsan Nazeer, Finza Latif, Aisha Mondal, Muhammad Waqar Azeem, Donald E. Greydanus


Abstract: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can be found in about 4% of the general population and is characterized by various compulsions and obsessions that interfere with the person’s quality of life from a mild to severe degree. The following discussion reflects on current concepts in this condition, including its epidemiology and etiologic underpinnings (behavioral, neurological, immunological, gastroenterological, as well as genetic). The interplay of PANS and PANDAS are included in this review. In addition, the core concepts of OCD diagnosis, differential diagnosis, and co-morbidities are considered. It is stressed that the quality of life for persons with pediatric OCD as well as for family members can be quite limited and challenged. Thus, principles of management are presented as a guide to improve the quality of life for these persons as much as possible.