Obsessive compulsive symptoms severity among children and adolescents during COVID-19 first wave in Israel‏

Maya Schwartz-Lifshitz*, Dana Basel, Claudia Lang, Nimrod Hertz-Palmor, Idit Dekel, Joseph Zohar, Doron Gothelf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several current publications have considered persons with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) as particularly vulnerable during the COVID-19 period, and to require more frequent symptom monitoring. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether OCD exacerbated during the first wave of COVID-19 in children and adolescents. Twenty-nine children and adolescents with OCD were evaluated in the midst of the first outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Israel (April–May 2020). Obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS) were assessed using the Clinical Global Impression Scale (CGI), by means of a functional questionnaire and by the Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory-child version (OCI-CV) questionnaires. Obsessive-compulsive symptoms were not found to have exacerbated during the period investigated, as evident by a lack of change in CGI severity scores and by improvement rather than deterioration among more participants, based on the CGI improvement scores. Additionally, the children and adolescents reported better general functioning during the COVID-19 period and had relatively low scores on the OCI-CV scale. Our findings indicate that Israeli children and adolescents with OCD coped well with COVID-19 during the first two months of the pandemic and mostly did not experience exacerbation of OCS. However, due to the short duration of exposure to the pandemic at the time of the study, social isolation and lockdown might have masked OCS; thus, further longitudinal studies are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100610
JournalJournal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Course
  • Exacerbation
  • OCD


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