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Classification of obsessive-compulsive disorder in childhood and adolescence

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Objective: In child and adolescent psychiatry the validation of the diagnosis must be seen in the context of development. Comparing different diagnostic formulations DSM-IV and ICD-10-DCR in a clinical sample of children and adolescents suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and their validation on external criteria represent such a heuristic approach.

Method: We investigated 61 children seen consecutively in a specialized out-patient clinic for OCD. All of them were assessed by the International Diagnostic Checklists (IDCL). Diagnosis and diagnostic certainty were validated regarding age, age of onset and duration of illness.

Results: The agreement between the two diagnostic systems was low. The diagnostic stability of ICD-10-DCR was highly dependent on age, whereas that of the criteria DSM-IV did not depend on age and almost all subjects could be diagnosed definitely.

Conclusion: This study suggests that the DSM-IV criteria are superior to that of ICD-10-DCR for diagnosing OCD in children and younger adolescents.
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Keywords: adolescents; children; diagnostic criteria; obsessive-compulsive; validation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Neuropsychiatry of Childhood and Adolescence, University of Vienna, Medical school, General Hospital, Vienna, Austria

Publication date: 01 August 2002

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