Clinical Cognitive Neuroscience Center



A transdiagnostic perspective of constructs underlying obsessive-compulsive and related disorders: An international Delp
Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Fontenelle, Leonardo F., Erin Oldenhof, Maria Eduarda Moreira-de-Oliveira, Jonathan S. Abramowitz, Martin M. Antony, Danielle Cath, Adrian Carter et al.



The Research Domain Criteria seeks to bridge knowledge from neuroscience with clinical practice by promoting research into valid neurocognitive phenotypes and dimensions, irrespective of symptoms and diagnoses as currently conceptualized. While the Research Domain Criteria offers a vision of future research and practice, its 39 functional constructs need refinement to better target new phenotyping efforts. This study aimed to determine which Research Domain Criteria constructs are most relevant to understanding obsessive-compulsive and related disorders, based on a consensus between experts in the field of obsessive-compulsive and related disorders.


Based on a modified Delphi method, 46 experts were recruited from Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Over three rounds, experts had the opportunity to review their opinion in light of feedback from the previous round, which included how their response compared to other experts and a summary of comments given.


Thirty-four experts completed round one, of whom 28 (82%) completed round two and 24 (71%) completed round three. At the final round, four constructs were endorsed by ⩾75% of experts as ‘primary constructs’ and therefore central to understanding obsessive-compulsive and related disorders. Of these constructs, one came from the Positive Valence System (Habit), two from the Cognitive Control System (Response Selection/Inhibition and Performance Monitoring) and the final construct was an additional item suggested by experts (Compulsivity).


This study identified four Research Domain Criteria constructs that, according to experts, cut across different obsessive-compulsive and related disorders. These constructs represent key areas for future investigation, and may have potential implications for clinical practice in terms of diagnostic processes and therapeutic management of obsessive-compulsive and related disorders.

Keywords Obsessive-compulsive and related disorders, Research Domain Criteria, habit, cognitive control, compulsivity