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Authors Albert U, Baffa A, Maina G
Received 27 July 2017
Accepted for publication 30 August 2017
Published 20 September 2017
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak
Peer reviewer comments 2
Editor who approved publication:
Dr Igor Elman
Umberto Albert, Alessandra Baffa, Giuseppe Maina
Rita Levi Montalcini Department of Neuroscience, A.O.U. San Luigi Gonzaga, University of Turin, Turino, Italy
Abstract: The term accommodation has been used to refer to family responses specifically related to obsessive–compulsive (OC) symptoms: it encompasses behaviors such as directly participating in compulsions, assisting a relative with obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) when he/she is performing a ritual, or helping him/her to avoid triggers that may precipitate obsessions and compulsions. At the opposite side, family responses to OCD may also include interfering with the rituals or actively opposing them; stopping accommodating OC symptoms or actively interfering with their performance is usually associated with greater distress and sometimes even with aggressive behaviors from the patients. This article summarizes progress of the recent research concerning family accommodation in relatives of patients with OCD. Family accommodation is a prevalent phenomenon both among parents of children/adolescents with OCD and relatives/caregivers of adult patients. It can be measured with a specific instrument, the Family Accommodation Scale, of which there are several versions available for use in clinical practice. The vast majority of both parents of children/adolescents with OCD and family members of adult patients show at least some accommodation; providing reassurances to obsessive doubts, participating in rituals and assisting the patient in avoidance are the most frequent accommodating behaviors displayed by family members. Modification of routine and modification of activities specifically due to OC symptoms have been found to be equally prevalent. Specific characteristics of patients (such as contamination/washing symptoms) and of relatives (the presence of anxiety or depressive symptoms or a family history positive for another anxiety disorder) are associated with a higher degree of family accommodation; these family members may particularly benefit from family-based cognitive–behavioral interventions. In recent years, targeting family accommodation has been suggested as a fundamental component of treatment programs and several interventions have been tested. Clinicians should be aware that family-based cognitive–behavior therapy incorporating modules to target family accommodation is more effective in reducing OC symptoms. Targeting family accommodation may be as well relevant for patients treated pharmacologically.
Keywords: obsessive–compulsive disorder, family accommodation, cognitive–behavior therapy, treatment response
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Other article by this author:
Effects of maintenance lithium treatment on serum parathyroid hormone and calcium levels: a retrospective longitudinal naturalistic study
Albert U, De Cori D, Aguglia A, Barbaro F, Lanfranco F, Bogetto F, Maina G
Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 2015, 11:1785-1791
Published Date: 20 July 2015