Category: Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders


Comparison of Hoarding in Treatment-Seeking Versus Referred Community Cases

Sunday, November 19
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Location: Indigo Ballroom B, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Hoarding | Community-Based Assessment / Intervention
Presentation Type: Symposium

Community-based professionals such as housing providers, fire and building inspectors, and public health officers encounter hoarding cases that appear to involve individuals who are unlikely to volunteer for research due to poor insight, cognitive impairment, or shame. This study compares clients recruited from a specialty hoarding treatment clinic (Tolin et al., 2012) with two samples of clients referred (often involuntarily) to community agencies that intervene in cases of hoarding. The Gatekeepers Program in Hamilton, Ontario is a non-profit agency assists older adults at risk of self-neglect. The Hoarding Action Response Team (HART) in Vancouver is comprised of fire prevention officers and community psychiatric nurses. (Data collection is ongoing, so final analyses will be based on additional cases.) 

Results indicate the 105 community-based hoarding cases in Hamilton show significantly greater functional impairment in activities of daily living such as using bathroom fixtures, using kitchen appliances and preparing food. Using items 1-16 of the Activities of Daily Living Scale for Hoarding, Hamilton clients were unable to engage in an average of 5.26 activities in the home, compared to an average of 2.65 activities the treatment-seeking clients (N = 40) could not do or only with great difficulty, t = 4.54, p < .001, 95%CIdiff [1.47, 3.75]. The community (non-voluntary) clients were more likely to show dysfunction in almost every area of functioning. Turning to clutter volume, 68 HART clients had higher Clutter Image Ratings in the most severely cluttered room (mean = 6.35) than did the 45 treatment-seeking clients (mean = 5.47), t = 2.72, 95%CIdiff [0.24, 1.53], but this difference was eliminated after accounting for client age. Importantly, the treatment-seeking sample was significantly younger than the two community samples, and both functional interference and clutter volume were positively correlated with age. Implications for generalizability of both psychopathology and treatment research will be discussed.

Sheila Woody

University of British Columbia


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Comparison of Hoarding in Treatment-Seeking Versus Referred Community Cases

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