The nature of prospective memory deficit in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder

T.-X. Yang, Z.-W. Peng, Y. Wang, F.-L. Geng, G.-D. Miao, Ho Keung David Shum, E.F.C. Cheung, R.C.K. Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.We comprehensively examined prospective memory (PM) performance in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and explored the cognitive and psychopathological correlates of PM in this clinical population. Fifty-eight OCD patients and 58 healthy controls were assessed with computer-based PM tasks and related neurocognitive functions, and the participants also reported frequency of PM failures and compulsive behaviours in daily life. OCD patients had intact activity-based PM performance but had lower accuracy in time-based PM and longer reaction time to event-based PM cues compared to healthy controls. Among the neurocognitive functions, both the WCST (perseverative error) and the letter number span correlated with time-based PM. OCD patients reported similar number of PM failures in daily life as controls, which correlated with their intact event-based PM performance, suggesting a generally good insight into their PM functions. Neither clinician-assessed nor self-reported OCD symptoms correlated with PM performance. This study indicates that PM impairment tends to vary with the PM cue types in OCD patients. In addition, certain executive functions (i.e., mental shifting and updating) may contribute to time-based PM impairment in patients with OCD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-486
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Mental shifting
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Prospective memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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