Approximately two percent of adults in the United States are diagnosed with
obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in their lifetimes. While seemingly a small
number, the condition is vastly under- and mis-diagnosed, leaving millions of
Americans suffering with unexplained symptoms. Good, effective treatments exist
that help some people reduce symptoms and lead functional lives; however, there are a good number of people—30 to 50 percent of those diagnosed—for whom current treatments do not work. The field has been working for the past 30 years to address the needs of that population through research, treatment development, awareness, and advocacy. Due to a number of barriers, however, progress has been slow and many people continue to suffer from the symptoms of the disorder.
This report provides a snapshot of the current state of OCD research and the
treatments based on that research, using a philanthropic lens to identify opportunities
that will move the field forward at a faster pace to effectively treat more people. This
report includes an overview of the current state of the field, relevant stakeholders, a
list of leading OCD research centers, a description of emerging research, promising
efforts focused on moving the field forward, and initial considerations for
philanthropic investment opportunities.
Written as a practical guide for those seeking more information on OCD and for those
with philanthropic resources available to support the field, this report will be useful
for anyone seeking to better understand the disorder and the latest developments
in research and treatment. While it aims to objectively cover all key areas relating to
OCD research as of July 2019, this is not an exhaustive report.
The Rodan Family Foundation, a family foundation based outside of San Francisco,
California, and deeply interested in advancements made in OCD research,
commissioned the report from Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) as part of its
learning agenda to inform its philanthropic strategy in the OCD field.
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