On April 30, 2021, Michael G. Wheaton, assistant professor of psychology, co-authored new research in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders, along with Haley Ward '21 and Alana Silber '21 and two researchers from McLean OCD Institute at Houston. The article, titled “How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms?,” strongly suggests that the pandemic has contributed to disproportionately large adverse mental health effects among individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
For this study, the researchers developed an online survey targeting adults with self-identified OCD to measure the many ways the pandemic has impacted the lives of these individuals. Though there was substantial variability in individual responses, the findings show that a majority of the participants reported worsening OCD symptoms since the COVID-19 outbreak began. Respondents also indicated that while they remained mostly satisfied with how their healthcare providers had handled the crisis, the pandemic had interfered with their OCD treatments.