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Adjunctive antipsychotic in the treatment of body dysmorphic disorder - A retrospective naturalistic case note study


  • Anxiety & Panic


Document Type

Published Date

  • 2015


  • Objectives: A retrospective naturalistic case note study to determine the frequency, co-morbidity and treatment-response of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). Methods: Records from 280 patients attending a highly specialised obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)/BDD service were analysed. The clinical outcome was measured either through scoring of the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) for OCD/BDD, or textual analysis of case notes for evidence of symptomatic improvement, treatment tolerability, and premature disengagement. Results: A total of 32 patients (11.43%) were diagnosed with BDD. Of these, 28 (87.5%) had at least one co-morbidity. All patients were offered cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Adjunctive low-dose antipsychotic was prescribed for 21 (66%) patients. Overall, 18/32 (56%) responded, and 7/32 (22%) disengaged prematurely. Patients offered antipsychotic, SSRI and CBT (n = 21) were compared with those offered SSRI and CBT only (n = 11). The treatment was well-tolerated. Whereas there was no significant inter-group difference in the clinical response rate, premature disengagement occurred less frequently in the antipsychotic-treated patients (9.5% versus 45%; Fisher's Exact Test P = 0.0318). Conclusions: BDD frequently presents with co-morbidity, treatment-resistance and premature disengagement. Adjunctive antipsychotic was associated with significantly better treatment adherence, but responder rates did not differ significantly, possibly related to the small sample-size. A well-powered randomised controlled study is warranted, to determine clinical outcomes with adjunctive antipsychotic in BDD.
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