Piloting the Perinatal Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (POCS): Development and validation
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Onset/worsening of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) during the perinatal period are frequently seen clinically. No specific tool assessing the unique content, context, severity, and onset of perinatal OCD exists. A self-report scale of perinatal obsessions and compulsions, the Perinatal Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (POCS), was developed and validated. A total of 162 women (67 pregnant, 95 postpartum) participated in this pilot study. They completed the POCS as well as the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS). The POCS has good construct validity, reflected by representative items, high internal consistency, good concurrent validity and discriminative capacity. The most common obsessions were fear of having an unhealthy baby at birth, contamination, the baby being taken away, and infant death. Behavioral compulsions such as repeating rituals, asking for reassurance, checking, and cleaning mirrored these obsessions. The POCS helps clinicians detect perinatal OCD while giving perinatal women an opportunity to openly discuss socially sensitive issues.
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