Fathers’ Experience of Perinatal Obsessive–Compulsive Symptoms: A Systematic Literature Review
Gepubliceerd in: Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review | Uitgave 3/2021Log in om toegang te krijgen
Perinatal Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder (pOCD) refers to the onset/exacerbation of Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder (OCD) during the perinatal period. This disorder has been studied in mothers, with limited research conducted on fathers. The aim of the current study was to conduct the first systematic review of research investigating the experience of pOCD in fathers. A systematic review was conducted via electronic searches of Scopus, ProQuest, APA PsychNet, PubMed, and EBSCOhost. There were 523 articles identified and screened for eligibility, resulting in six eligible studies included in the final review. All studies reported the presence of subclinical obsessive–compulsive symptoms in fathers during the perinatal period, with the prevalence comparable to mothers. Compared to mothers, however, fathers were found to report less intrusion-related distress. Two studies reported a correlation between dysfunctional beliefs, negative appraisal of intrusions, and pOCD symptoms. Common categories of obsessive thoughts and compulsions experienced by fathers were also identified. Fathers appear susceptible to pOCD, which is consistent with the Cognitive-Behavioral Theory of OCD. Future research is recommended, therefore, to investigate clinical prevalence and severity of pOCD in fathers, particularly relative to mothers, and further investigate the role of dysfunctional beliefs in the development of pOCD.