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Relationship between symptom severity, psychiatric comorbidity, social/occupational impairment, and suicidality in hoarding disorder

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Social and occupational functioning deficits contribute to overall disability in hoarding disorder (HD), and psychiatric symptoms are likely strong contributors. In turn, social/occupational impairment and psychiatric illness are known to contribute to suicidality. However, few studies have examined the relationship between these factors. We examined these relationships in 313 treatment seeking individuals with HD, measuring hoarding severity with the Saving Inventory, Revised and functional impairment with the Activities of Daily Living for Hoarding Disorder (ADL-H). We created a composite social/occupational function variable assessing employment, cohabitation, and marriage. A path analysis was used to assess the relationship between social functioning, occupational functioning, hoarding related functional impairment in activities of daily living, hoarding severity, psychiatric burden, and suicidality in HD. At least one lifetime psychiatric comorbidity was noted in 61% of participants. High rates of unemployment, living alone, never marrying or being divorced/separated, and lifetime suicide attempts were present. Hoarding severity and hoarding-related functional impairment were associated with social/occupational impairment, and, along with psychiatric burden, with suicidality in this population. These findings suggest that thorough psychiatric evaluation and assessment of suicidality is warranted for those with HD, and that hoarding-related functional impairment is closely related to measures of real-world social functioning.

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