Does the OCI-4 Show Promise as an Ultra-Brief Screening Tool for Identifying likely OCD?

Research Paper Title

The OCI-4: An ultra-brief screening scale for obsessive-compulsive disorder.


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a prevalent and burdensome condition that is typically assessed using in-depth interviews or lengthy self-report measures. Accordingly, routine screening in busy non-mental health settings is impractical, and OCD is often under- (or mis-) recognised.


The researchers evaluated an ultra-brief version of a widely used self-report measure, the Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory-Revised (OCI-R), which may be employed as a routine screener for OCD.

A total of 1,087 adults diagnosed with OCD, 1,306 unselected adults from the community, and 423 adults with anxiety related disorders completed the OCI-R along with measures of anxiety and mood.

Analyses were conducted to reduce the number of items and examine evidence for sensitivity and specificity to OCD clinical status, test-retest reliability, sensitivity to treatment, and convergent and discriminant validity.


Four items that optimally assess different dimensions of OCD (washing, checking, ordering, obsessing) were identified. Psychometric evaluation revealed good to excellent test-retest reliability, validity, prediction of clinical OCD status, and sensitivity to treatment.


A 4-item version of the OCI-R, called the OCI-4, shows promise as an ultra-brief screening tool for identifying likely OCD in settings where in-depth assessment is impractical. Patients with a positive screen may be referred for further evaluation and appropriate treatment.


Abramovitch, A., Abramovitchm J.S. & McKay, D. (2021) The OCI-4: An ultra-brief screening scale for obsessive-compulsive disorder. Journal of Anxiety Disorder. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2021.102354. Online ahead of print.

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