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Prevalence of obsessive-compulsive disorder in Turkish university students and assessment of associated factors

Elcin Yoldascan1, Yarkin Ozenli2, Oguz Kutlu3, Kenan Topal4* and Ali Ihsan Bozkurt5

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey

2 Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Baskent University, Ankara, Turkey

3 Department of Computer and Teaching Technology Education, Faculty of Education, Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey

4 Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Pamukkale University, Denizli, Turkey

5 Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Pamukkale University, Denizli, Turkey

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BMC Psychiatry 2009, 9:40  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-9-40

Published: 6 July 2009



Many students who begin university at risky periods for OCD development cannot meet the new challenges successfully. They often seek help and apply to the university health center for psychiatric distress. We aimed to determine the prevalence and associated factors of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) at students of the Cukurova University in this cross sectional study.


This study was performed in the Cukurova University Faculty of Education with a population of 5500 students; the representative sample size for detecting the OCD prevalence was calculated to be 800. After collecting sociodemographic data, we questioned the students for associated factors of OCD. The General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12) and Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI, Section K) were used for psychiatric evaluation. Logistic regression analysis was performed to evaluate the linkage between OCD and associated factors.


A total of 804 university students were included in this study. The GHQ-12-positive students (241 students, 29.9%) were interviewed using Section K of the CIDI (222 students, 27.6%). OCD was diagnosed in 33 (4.2%) students. The Logistic regression analysis of the data showed significant associations between OCD and male gender (p:0.036), living on government dormitory (p: 0.003), living on students' house/parental house (p:0.006), having private room in the parental house (p:0.055) and verbal abuse in the family (p:0.006).


This study demonstrates a higher prevalence of OCD among a group of university students compared to other prevalence studies of OCD in Turkish society. Furthermore, our findings also suggest relationships between OCD and sociodemographic factors, as well as other environmental stress factors.