A majority of individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) do not seek health care. To better understand why not, health care-seekers (HCS) with OCD (n = 25) were compared with non-health care-seekers (NHCS) with OCD (n = 23) regarding their sociodemographic variables, symptom severity, types of obsessions and compulsions, 'insight degree, comorbid diagnosis, and quality-of-life (QOL) level. There was no significant difference for sociodemographic characteristics between the groups. NHCS scored significantly lower on a measure of illness severity than HCS. The NHCS group had significantly poorer insight degree than the HCS group. Aggressive and religious obsessions were significantly less identified in the NHCS group compared to the HCS group. NHCS were significantly less likely to have comorbid diagnosis than HCS. The NHCS group reported significantly worse levels of QOL in psychological health and level of independence domains. To identify the predictors of health care seeking behavior, probable variables were entered in a logistic regression model. Insight degree and level of independence emerged as the predictors of health care seeking. Our results suggest that health care seeking behavior in OCD is associated with the individuals' ability to recognize their symptoms as a disorder and subjective interpretation regarding the impact of OCD on their level of independence. Results of the present study extend findings of two recent studies that have investigated factors related to health care seeking in OCD. (C) 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.