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The Cognitive Profile of Persons with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies (from 2013).
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies (from 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7453-5399
2018 (English)In: Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health, ISSN 1745-0179, E-ISSN 1745-0179, Vol. 14, p. 304-311, article id CPEMH-14-304Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction: Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is often comorbid with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). But to what extent can obsessional symptoms in individuals with ASD be considered “genuinely” comorbid OCD – or are there other mechanisms that are related to ASD? Which mechanisms in OCD with and without ASD share common features? People with ASD have a cognitive profile characterized by “mindblindness”; the antecedent is often referred to in terms of not knowing how to perform or behave and this is the cause of discomfort. This raises the question whether individuals with ASD and comorbid OCD share the same cognitive elements of responsibility interpretation and the same fear of causing harm as individuals who merely have OCD.

Objective: The aim of the present study is therefore to evaluate the extent of responsibility interpretation in individuals with OCD alone compared with people experiencing OCD in the context of ASD.

Methods: Two instruments, the Responsibility Attitude Scale (RAS) and the Responsibility Interpretations Questionnaire (RIQ), were administered to three groups of participants: (i) individuals diagnosed with OCD (n = 32); (ii) individuals with ASD and OCD (n = 19); and (iii) non-clinical control participants (n = 23).

Results: Results indicate significant differences in all measures of responsibility belief (interpretation of obsession and assumption of responsibility) between the OCD-only group and the two other groups.

Conclusion: The conclusion is that OCD in people with ASD is not as “genuine” as in people with only OCD, according to cognitive behavioral theory of OCD.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sharjah, U.A.E.: Bentham Open , 2018. Vol. 14, p. 304-311, article id CPEMH-14-304
Keywords [en]
ASD, OCD, Cognitive Profile, RAS, RIQ, Interpretation
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-70489DOI: 10.2174/1745017901814010304OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-70489DiVA, id: diva2:1271222
Available from: 2018-12-17 Created: 2018-12-17 Last updated: 2019-04-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Strengths and Weaknesses of the Cognitive Profiles of Autism and ADHD from a Cognitive Behavioral Perspective: Treatment, Prevention and the Understanding of the Comorbidity
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Strengths and Weaknesses of the Cognitive Profiles of Autism and ADHD from a Cognitive Behavioral Perspective: Treatment, Prevention and the Understanding of the Comorbidity
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of the present research was to increase the understanding of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) from a cognitive behavioral perspective. The investigation was made to examine the effect of modified cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) using visualization. Basing our research on Salkovskis’ cognitive model of OCD,  the  aim was to investigate whether obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in individuals with ASD differs from OCD in patients with OCD alone, and to identify cognitive differences between individuals with a combination of ASD and OCD and a non-clinical control group. Further, to investigate the possibility that the criteria for ADHD, as given on the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS), are overrepresented in sports athletes compared to non-athletes, and that these criteria may be an advantage for athletes’ achievement rather than causing problems for these individuals. 

In Study I, therapy was given with modified CBT including visualization.  Results showed that modified CBT, resulted in significant reduction in anxiety levels, and behavioral changes in the target behaviors.

In Study II, three groups, individuals with ASD and OCD, individuals with only OCD, and non-clinical controls, were compared. Results showed a significant difference between participants with both ASD and OCD and participants with OCD only.

In Study III, the interest was to examining whether athletes, compared to non-athletes, have more ADHD-like symptoms in the two settings i.e. in school and leisure time/ sport activity and whether the cognitive profile that includes these criteria could be of advantage to their sport performance. The results showed significant differences between the groups and within the athlete’s group, in school and in leisure time/the sports activity, concerning ASRS scores.

One general conclusion from these investigations is that the cognitive profiles of ASD and ADHD need to be recognized and taken into consideration early in the daily life both at home and in school, to reduce the risk of comorbidity.

Abstract [en]

The aim of the present research was to increase the understanding of ASD and ADHD from a cognitive behavioral perspective.

In Study I, the treatment was modified CBT, including visualization and results showed that modified CBT resulted in significant reduction in anxiety levels, and behavioral changes in the target behavior.

In Study II, individuals with ASD and OCD, individuals with only OCD, and non-clinical controls, were compared in terms of Salkovskis’ cognitive model of OCD. Results showed a significant difference between participants with both ASD and OCD and participants with OCD only.

In Study III, the investigation was to examine whether athletes, compared to non-athletes, have more ADHD-like symptoms in the two settings i.e. in school and leisure time/ sport activity and whether the cognitive profile that includes these criteria could be of advantage to their sport performance. The results showed significant differences between the groups and within the athlete’s group, in school and in leisure time/the sports activity, concerning ASRS scores.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2019. p. 69
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2019:15
Keywords
Autism Spectrum Disorder, Mindblindness, Theory of mind, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Obsessive compulsive disorder, ADHD, ADD, Sports, Athletes, Physical activity, Hyperactivity, Hyperfocusing
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-71857 (URN)978-91-7867-022-2 (ISBN)978-91-7867-027-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-05-24, 1B306, Fryksell, Karlstad, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-04-29 Created: 2019-04-17 Last updated: 2019-04-29Bibliographically approved

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Ekman, ElizabethHiltunen, Arto

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