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Title: An experimental investigation of obsessive compulsive disorder
Author: Jakes, Ian C.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3588 5775
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1992
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The thesis is divided into four parts. In Part A, what are termed the "standard diagnostic criteria" for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder" (OCD) are reviewed, and argued to be implausible. The beginnings of an alternative approach to the definition of the disorder are presented. Empirical investigations of the characteristics of obsessive-compulsive experience among OCD sufferers are also reported. The results of these investigations both confirm the critique of the "standard diagnostic criteria", and are consistent with previous phenomenological investigations of OCD patients. Judgment is suspended as to the full importance of these diagnostic and phenomenological considerations to the understanding of OCD. In Part B, a number of theoretical approaches to OCD are discussed, including behavioural/learning accounts, "Pavlovian" personality theories, Janet's account, a "cybernetic" approach, an account from a psychodynamic perspective, and the "cognitive-structural" theory. It is argued that none of these approaches is able fully to explain the phenomena associated with OCD. In Part C, the "cognitive-structural" theory of OCD is tested empirically. Three investigations are reported, none of which provide strong support for this theory. In Part D, an attempt is made to pick out, from the approaches considered earlier, any ideas which may offer some hope of progress in the understanding and/or treatment of OCD. The suggestion which is examined to this end, made by several of the accounts considered above, is that the unassertive behaviour of some OCD patients may be an important precipitant of their symptoms. Evidence relevant to this claim, and its implications for treatment, are reviewed. It is suggested that this approach may offer some insights and useful suggestions for some cases of OCD. Some suggestions are offered as to further work which might be conducted along these lines. 4
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Medicine Medicine