Cues to obsessive-compulsive symptoms: Relationships with other patient characteristics

Stephen L. Ristvedt, Thomas B. Mackenzie, Gary A. Christenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The waxing and waning of symptoms in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) suggests that environmental cues may impact on exacerbations of this disorder. Eighty-one Ss with OCD completed the Cues Checklist (CCL; Mackenzie, Ristvedt, Christenson, Lebow & Mitchell, 1992), a 339-item checklist of rationally-derived cues and circumstances that might be expected to elicit or worsen symptoms. Principal components analysis revealed four components: household order and organization, contamination and cleaning, negative affect, and prevention of harm and checking. Total number of cues endorsed and component scores were correlated with other characteristics of the disorder, and with the presence of other Axis I and II disorders. Patterns of cue endorsement related to standard measures of obsessive-compulsive content but not to symptom severity. Early-onset Ss endorsed a greater number of cues. History of depression, anxiety disorders and Axis II pathology related most strongly to scores on the negative affect component. The values and limitations of this approach are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-729
Number of pages9
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 1993


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