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Reassurance seeking is a common problem in clinically anxious populations, and is particularly obvious in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This study seeks to examine the way individuals with OCD try to seek reassurance and the perceived consequences of such reassurance seeking using a qualitative analysis of the perspectives of individuals with OCD who seek reassurance from other people. A semi-structured interview was employed to ask individuals with OCD to reflect on occasions when they sought reassurance, and its impact on themselves and others. Ten interviews were conducted, transcribed, and analysed in detail using thematic analysis. Four overarching themes were identified in terms of reassurance seeking; interrogating feelings to achieve a sense of certainty, ceaseless and careful effort, reluctance to seek reassurance, and interpersonal concern. A thematic map was produced to understand the relationship between themes and sub-themes. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders

Publication Date





25 - 32