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Welcome to Spotlight, a new blog series aimed at bringing you the latest research news and information about obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and related disorders. Each quarter, we’ll also round up the biggest and most interesting news in the field of hoarding disorder research — from highlighting work by members of our Scientific & Clinical Advisory Board to the latest headlines in journals and popular media alike — and share them here. This new series is part of our larger Spotlight series, which contains monthly updates on OCD research & news along with rotating quarterly features on hoarding disorder, pediatric OCD, and BDD.

To receive a copy of this new series directly in your inbox each month, subscribe to our new “Spotlight: OCD News & Research Updates” email series here by completing the form and selecting the “Spotlight” option.

Making Headlines

Hoarding disorder advocates and stories making news around the globe this winter

My Friend, the Compulsive Hoarder
Motherboard, December 2015motherboard

“Over the years of our friendship, pieces of a puzzle had been coming together. He would repeatedly refer to how messy it was at his place. When he told me about his father’s tuba on top of his bed and the desk you had to climb over to get through the hall, pieces of a picture started to take shape in my inner eye.” This article provides a firsthand glimpse at what it can be like to support friends and family members who hoard as the author shares his experiences working with a close friend who chose to seek help and clear his apartment.

Buried treasures: understanding compulsive hoarding – Got Anxiety?
Sierra Sun, December 2015

Two IOCDF professional members are working to raise awareness of hoarding disorder in their Lake Tahoe community through a three-part series of articles aiming to share more information about what the authors say is “a major issue deserving attention.”

Provincetown officials are helping hoarders learn to let goptown
Wicked Local Provincetown, October 2015

Work and training provided by SCB member Gail Steketee, PhD, is playing a big role in efforts to address hoarding and what to do about it, something that is “a growing cause for concern” according to representatives from several local social service agencies interviewed as part of this article. Denise Egan Stack, LMHC, the president of the IOCDF’s Board of Directors, is also highlighted in the article.

SCB Showcase

Members of the IOCDF Scientific & Clinical Advisory Board (SCB) are among the best clinicians and investigators in the United States who treat and/or conduct research in the field of OCD and related disorders. Here, we recognize SCB members whose work has recently turned heads in the scientific community or general public.

Clinical characteristics and predictors of hoarding in children with anxiety disordershoardingSCBshot
Journal of Anxiety Disorders, December 2015

SCB members Adam B. Lewin, PhD and Eric Storch, PhD, are two of the authors of this study examining the clinical characteristics of anxious children with significant hoarding behavior. Their work examines the contributions of anxiety, obsessive compulsive, and inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive symptoms in the prediction of hoarding. Findings suggest a pattern of behavioral and emotional dysregulation for children who hoard and provide further insight into the relationships between anxiety, attention problems, and hoarding.

Hoarding Disorder Research Corner

A quarterly roundup of the latest in hoarding disorder research from scientific journals.

Hoarding in Children and Adolescents: A Review ($)childpsychjourno
Child Psychiatry and Human Development, November 2015

The diagnostic conceptualization of hoarding has recently changed, and yet the application of these changes to hoarding in youth remains to be clarified. This review examines the literature on hoarding in youth and concludes there is support for hoarding disorder as a distinct diagnosis in youth. However, more precise and developmentally appropriate assessment tools are needed to provide stronger evidence for this claim and to further knowledge of prevalence and associated clinical characteristics. Although there is no evidence-based treatment for pediatric hoarding, preliminary evidence from case studies suggests that cognitive and behavioral methods may have promise.

Hoarding, Housing, and DSM-5 ($)law
Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, December 2015

Hoarding disorder (HD) can have a huge impact on individuals and their families as well as neighbors, landlords, and the community. The inclusion of HD in the DSM-5, created an opportunity for individuals with hoarding disorder to request reasonable accommodation from landlords because their condition represents a disability under the Fair Housing and Americans with Disabilities Acts. This article reviews the legal implications of hoarding disorder, tracking recent case law and arguments made in such disputes.

IOCDF Research Resources

Find other research-related resources from the IOCDF, including:

For researchers:

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