Doctorate in Clinical Psychology: Main Research Portfolio
: 1) A critical literature review of the extent and quality of research into post bereavement support provided by UK and Ireland hospices for family and carers; 2) Service Improvement Project paper: An evaluation of ‘suicide risk training’ for General Practitioners; 3) Reassurance seeking in OCD and depression

  • Emma Smith

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy)


Background and Objectives: It has been suggested that reassurance seeking may play an important role in the development and maintenance of common mental health problems such as OCD and depression. We first considered the extent of reassurance seeking in depression and OCD relative to a healthy comparison group and secondly tested the hypothesis that reassurance seeking is primarily motivated by threat in those suffering from OCD and by interpersonal concerns in those suffering from depression.Methods: The frequency and intensity of reassurance seeking and the motivation for seeking reassurance was measured using the reassurance seeking questionnaire in 28 people with OCD, 18 people with depression and 29 healthy controls.Results: The OCD group sought reassurance more and at a higher intensity than both the depression group and healthy controls. For the OCD group, reassurance seeking was found to be linked to threat concern motivation. The depression group were not motivated by threat or interpersonal concerns.Conclusions: For people suffering from OCD, reassurance is motivated by threat concern. For the depression group the motivation to seek reassurance is less clear but interpersonal concern may not be a distinct motivational factor.Key words: Reassurance seeking, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, depression, reassurance seeking questionnaire, threat motivation, interpersonal motivation.
Date of Award9 Sept 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorPaul Salkovskis (Supervisor), James Gregory (Supervisor) & Elizabeth Marks (Supervisor)

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