What is it about?

Interpersonal reassurance-seeking (i.e., seeking reassurance from other people) is a well-established phenomenon in obsessive-compulsive disorder, but non-interpersonal forms of reassurance-seeking have received less research attention. These two studies explore the phenomenon of online reassurance-seeking (e.g., using search engines to seek reassurance) in two community samples. We found that online reassurance-seeking was common and was associated with the severity of obsessive-compulsive symptoms, feelings of shame, and fears about one's true nature.

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Why is it important?

Our findings point to online reassurance-seeking as a phenomenon worthy of further study, and suggest a need to consider broader definitions of reassurance-seeking that are not limited to social interactions. Clinically, the results are a reminder to assess for online behaviours that may contribute to symptoms and might otherwise go undetected.

Perspectives

This article summarizes the results of the first two studies of my PhD dissertation. I am excited to begin to share my findings, and hope that they spark further conversation about the importance of online behaviours from a clinical perspective.

Carly A. Parsons
University of British Columbia

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Online reassurance-seeking and relationships with obsessive-compulsive symptoms, shame, and fear of self, Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, April 2022, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.jocrd.2022.100714.
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