Doctorate in Clinical Psychology: Main Research Portfolio
: 1) Involving the wider system in skills-based treatments for Borderline Personality Disorder: A systematic review; 2) Improving Multidisciplinary Clinical Discussion on an Inpatient Mental Health Ward ;3) An investigation of perceptions of OCD, caregiver burden, distress and accommodation.

  • Sian Dallimore

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy)


Caring for someone with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder has a demonstrated impact onpsychological distress and quality of life. Relatives often struggle to know how best to helpand it has been suggested that most engage in some form of accommodation of symptoms.Given the impact of OCD on carers, and the potentially detrimental effects of symptomaccommodation and interpersonal difficulties on treatment outcome, it seems appropriateto include family members in treatments, but it is not yet fully understood which factorscontribute to these interpersonal difficulties. The self-regulation model suggests thatcarers’ perceptions of an individual’s difficulties will have implications for both emotionaland behavioural responses. For this purpose, individuals with OCD and their caregiverscompleted questionnaires to assess their appraisals of OCD, psychological distress,perceived criticism, caregiver burden and family accommodation. Caregiver perceptions of severe consequences of OCD were associated with increased perceived burden, whereas perceptions of chronicity and consequences were both independently associated with higher levels of caregiver psychological distress. Caregiver appraisals of OCD were not associated with levels of accommodation, but the appraisals of personal control held by the individual with OCD were, with lower perceived control associated with more accommodation. These findings suggest that aspects of the self-regulation model can be used to understand that appraisals of the chronicity, consequences and control one has over OCD can influence the distress of caregivers and also the extent to which they engage in potentially unhelpful accommodating behaviours. It is hoped that this model can help therapists to fine-tune the already efficacious treatments available.
Date of Award17 Aug 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorPaul Salkovskis (Supervisor), Claire Lomax (Supervisor), Brynjar Halldorsson (Supervisor), Maria Loades (Supervisor), Emma Griffith (Supervisor) & Katharine Christie (Supervisor)

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