Obsessive-compulsive disorder in elderly schizophrenia patients

Michael Poyurovsky, Josef Bergman, Ronit Weizman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has been identified in a substantial proportion of adult schizophrenia patients. Although symptoms of both disorders may persist into senescence, the prevalence of OCD in elderly schizophrenia patients has not yet been explicitly evaluated. We evaluated the prevalence of OCD in 50 elderly patients consecutively hospitalized for acute exacerbation of DSM-IV schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. The severity of schizophrenia and OCD symptoms was assessed using appropriate clinical rating scales. Eight (16%) of the 50 participants also met DSM-IV criteria for OCD. Schizophrenia patients with and without OCD did not differ significantly in demographic and clinical variables. In half of the schizophrenia-OCD group late onset OCD was observed, while in the remaining schizophrenia-OCD patients, early-onset OCD persisted into senescence, suggesting distinct mechanisms of occurrence. We conclude that OCD is not rare in elderly schizophrenia patients. Identification of this potentially treatable condition is imperative to provide adequate care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-191
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2006


  • Elderly
  • Geriatric psychiatry
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Prevalence
  • Schizophrenia


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