Show Summary Details
Page of

Intolerance of Uncertainty in OCD 

Intolerance of Uncertainty in OCD
Chapter:
Intolerance of Uncertainty in OCD
Author(s):

Ryan J. Jacoby

, and Jonathan S. Abramowitz

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190228163.003.0017
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE (www.oxfordmedicine.com). © Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 26 June 2022

Intolerance of uncertainty (IU) is a key cognitive construct in the maintenance of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms. Whereas most individuals feel “certain-enough” that situations are relatively safe, those with OCD who have elevated IU have difficulty managing the feeling of not knowing “for sure” whether a feared outcome may occur. As a result, they engage in compulsive rituals (e.g., checking, reassurance seeking) with the aim of restoring a sense of certainty. Given the pervasiveness of uncertainty in daily life, these doubts and rituals can lead to heightened daily distress for individuals with OCD. Accordingly, the present chapter reviews the following: (a) a comprehensive definition of IU, (b) the conceptualization of IU as important in the development and maintenance of OCD across various symptom presentations, (c) the measurement of IU using both self-report and behavioral methods, and (d) recommendations for the consideration of IU in OCD treatment.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.