Measuring obsessive-compulsive symptoms: Padua Inventory-Revised vs. Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale

Gideon E. Anholt, Patricia van Oppen, Paul M.G. Emmelkamp, Danielle C. Cath, Johannes H. Smit, Richard van Dyck, Anton J.L.M. van Balkom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Although the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) and the Padua Inventory-Revised (PI-R) are the most widely used instruments for assessing presence and severity of symptoms in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), the correlation between the two instruments is surprisingly low. The aim of the present investigation was to test two possible explanations for the discrepancy between these instruments by comparing both scales in 120 OCD patients. The tested hypotheses included: (1) differences in the way the measures are administered, i.e. observer-rated vs. self-rated; and (2) differences in the way severity is calculated, i.e. the PI-R measures severity by aggregating symptoms, while the Y-BOCS measures severity unrelated to the number of symptoms. Results indicated that neither hypothesis satisfactorily explains the differences between the measures. The investigation concludes that the Y-BOCS and PI-R measure relatively unrelated features of OCD, and the combined use of multiple measures is recommended to assess the complexity of OCD phenomena.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)830-835
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Assessment
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Scales

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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