Treatment outcome of obsessive compulsive disorder with comorbid social phobia

J. L. Carrasco, E. Hollander, F. R. Schneier, M. R. Liebowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Background: Treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) with serotonin reuptake blockers has been demonstrated effective in 50% to 60% of patients in open and placebo-controlled studies. However, some reports indicate that comorbid Axis II psychopathology, including avoidant personality disorder, and deficiency of social skills could be predictors of a poor response to treatment in OCD patients. Method: A retrospective review elicited 12 patients who met DSM-III-R diagnostic criteria for both OCD and social phobia and were treated in our clinic last year with adequate trials of serotonin reuptake blockers or MAOIs. Results: Only 3 (27%) of the 11 patients treated with serotonin reuptake blockers had a substantial improvement of OCD symptoms. Among them, only 1 (11%) of 9 patients with generalized subtype of social phobia versus 2 (100%) of 2 patients with the nongeneralized subtype responded to serotonin reuptake blockers. Four (80%) of 5 patients with comorbid generalized social phobia receiving phenelzine had marked improvement of OCD symptoms. In general, response of social phobia occurred parallel to that of OCD. Conclusion: Comorbid generalized social phobia seems to be associated with a poor response to serotonin reuptake blockers in OCD patients. Deficient social skills, as well as distinct biological mechanisms, may be involved. MAOIs might be an effective alternative medication in refractory cases. Larger and controlled studies are needed to define the implications of the association of OCD and social phobia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-391
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychiatry
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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