Social Support and Symptom Severity Among Patients With Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or Panic Disorder With Agoraphobia: A Systematic Review

Véronique Palardy, Ghassan El-Baalbaki, Catherine Fredette, Elias Rizkallah, Stéphane Guay

Abstract


Panic disorder with or without agoraphobia (PD/A) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are characterized by major behavioral dysruptions that may affect patients’ social and marital functioning. The disorders’ impact on interpersonal relationships may also affect the quality of support patients receive from their social network. The main goal of this systematic review is to determine the association between social or marital support and symptom severity among adults with PD/A or OCD. A systematic search of databases was executed and provided 35 eligible articles. Results from OCD studies indicated a negative association between marital adjustment and symptom severity, and a positive association between accommodation from relatives and symptom severity. However, results were inconclusive for negative forms of social support (e.g. criticism, hostility). Results from PD/A studies indicated a negative association between perceived social support and symptom severity. Also, results from studies using an observational measure of marital adjustment indicated a negative association between quality of support from the spouse and PD/A severity. However, results were inconclusive for perceived marital adjustment and symptom severity. In conclusion, this systematic review generally suggests a major role of social and marital support in PD/A and OCD symptomatology. However, given diversity of results and methods used in studies, more are needed to clarify the links between support and symptom severity among patients with PD/A and OCD.

Keywords


obsessive-compulsive disorder; panic disorder; agoraphobia; social support; marital adjustment; accommodation; expressed emotion

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https://doi.org/10.5964/ejop.v14i1.1252