Compulsive hoarding is characterised by the accumulation of and failure to discard, alarge number of objects of seemingly little value to the extent that living spaces cannot be usedfor their intended purpose. Hoarding is considered to be a debilitating and progressive condition.However, little is known about the progressive course of hoarding. Despite developing in earlyadolescence, individuals do not typically present for treatment until later life. At this point it isdifficult to identify the features that represent the core psychopathology from secondarydifficulties resulting from chronicity. A research protocol was developed comparing older andyounger individuals with hoarding in order to identify, which beliefs are associated withhoarding and which are the result of other ‘downstream’ secondary problems. However as nostudy has attempted to recruit younger hoarders it was necessary to carry out a pilot study. Thepilot study aimed to assess rate of recruitment, acceptability of protocol and provide preliminary psychometric data on new measures designed for the purpose of this study. As expected the rate of recruitment for younger hoarders was lower than that of older hoarders. Older hoarders were recruited at approximately twice the rate of younger hoarders; 1 per 1.6 weeks compared to 1 per3.2 weeks. Participant response rate on the questionnaires was 85%. In addition the high response rate and feedback from participants indicates that the procedure is acceptable and not too burdensome. As the data was normally distributed it was possible to carry out provisional data analysis. Results suggested that younger and older hoarders do not differ in severity of hoarding symptoms, beliefs about hoarding or anxiety and depression. However full scale study is necessary to confirm provisional findings.
|Date of Award||16 Sep 2015|
|Supervisor||Paul Salkovskis (Supervisor), James Gregory (Supervisor), Ailsa Russell (Supervisor) & Catherine Hamilton-Giachritsis (Supervisor)|