OPEN Journal of obsessive-compulsive and related disorders | 26 Mar 2013
J Dimauro, DF Tolin, RO Frost and G Steketee
Previous research indicates that people with hoarding sometimes under- or over-report the severity of their symptoms. This article examines the results of two separate studies that evaluate severity ratings made by participants with hoarding disorder (HD) in comparison to ratings by family members or independent evaluators. In Study 1, HD participants' ratings of the severity of the clutter in their home and their hoarding behaviors were less severe than those made by their friends or family members. This result may be accounted for by family members' rejecting attitudes towards the participant. In Study 2, HD participants appeared to under-report specific hoarding symptoms while over-reporting their overall global impression of hoarding severity. A three-pronged assessment approach is recommended in which ratings of hoarding severity are made by the HD participant, their family member, and an independent observer or clinician. Such an approach would better inform future research, and also clinical treatment.
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