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Predictors of hoarding severity in older adults with hoarding disorder

  • Catherine R. Ayers (a1) (a2) (a3) and Mary E. Dozier (a1) (a4)



The recent addition of hoarding disorder (HD) to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, 5th edition, has highlighted the dearth of information about the demographic, sociologic, and medical predictors of HD severity, particularly in older adults. Although there have been several previous studies examining the characteristics of older adults with HD, and one investigation of psychiatric correlates of hoarding symptom severity in non-clinical older adults, there has been little investigation about which characteristics predict hoarding symptom severity in older adults with HD.


Participants were 71 older adults who were enrolled for one of the two studies of HD at the VA San Diego Healthcare System between January 2010 and January 2014.


There were multiple differences in the predictive ability of patient characteristics between the more cognition-related symptoms of HD and the more concrete measure of clutter, including gender-based differences and anxiety severity. Further, married participants were more likely to report lower hoarding severity, and there was no significant relationship between hoarding severity and intervention attempts or hoarding and reported falls in the past three years.


Multiple predictive factors have been presented, which may result in further studies to investigate possible predictive differences in cognition and clutter symptoms of HD. Future studies should examine the possibility of the predictive factors also identified to be moderators of treatment outcomes.


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: Dr Catherine Ayers, PhD, ABPP, 3350 La Jolla Village Drive 116B, San Diego, CA 92161, USA. Phone: +1-858-552-8585, Ext. 2976. Email:


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International Psychogeriatrics
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