Hoarding severity predicts functional disability in late-life hoarding disorder patients

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Late-life hoarding is a serious psychiatric condition with significant implications in health and functioning. Geriatric hoarding patients show greater impairment in activities of daily living and have a greater number of medical conditions compared with same-aged nonhoarders. This study examined the relationship between geriatric hoarding severity and functional disability severity.


Sixty-five subjects age 60 or older with hoarding disorder (HD) participated in the current study. Participants were assessed with measures of hoarding severity, psychiatric symptoms, and general disability. Hierarchical regression was used to test the unique association of hoarding symptoms with functional disability beyond the effects of demographic factors, anxiety, and depression.


When controlling for demographics (age and gender) and psychiatric symptoms (anxiety and depression), hoarding severity predicts functional disability severity. Analyses also show that clinician-administered measures of hoarding are stronger predictors of disability than patient self-report measures.


When treating older adults with HD, clinicians must consider symptom impact on daily life. A multidisciplinary team must be utilized to address the wide-ranging consequences of hoarding symptoms. Future work should examine how psychiatric treatment of HD affects functional disability. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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