Michael Witthöft

Learn More
Idiopathic environmental intolerance (IEI), also known as multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), is defined as a chronic polysymptomatic condition that cannot be explained by an organic disease. Previous studies suggest that IEI may be a variant of somatoform disorders (SFD), because both disorders overlap with respect to symptoms and psychological features(More)
BACKGROUND Medically unexplained symptoms are the hallmark of somatoform disorders and functional somatic syndromes. PURPOSE Although medically unexplained symptoms represent a common phenomenon both in the general population as well as in medical settings, the exact latent structure of somatic symptoms remains largely unclear. METHOD We examined the(More)
Studies evaluating attentional biases in health anxiety have produced equivocal results. Little is known about the details and potential moderators of prioritized processing of illness related information. We compared individuals with health anxiety (HAG; N = 54) to not health anxious participants (CG; N = 53) in a blocked emotional Stroop paradigm.(More)
BACKGROUND Previous studies suggest that idiopathic environmental intolerance (IEI) is a variant of somatoform disorders (SFDs) or the so-called functional somatic syndromes. Little is known, however, about the stability and the psychological predictors of IEI. METHOD This prospective study examined the 1-year stability of somatic symptoms and IEI(More)
Gaze plays a crucial role in social interactions. Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), which is associated with severe impairment of social interactions, is thus likely to exhibit disturbances of gaze perception. We conducted two experiments with SAD-patients and healthy control participants using a virtual head whose gaze could be interactively manipulated. We(More)
The relationship between the conscious experience of physical symptoms and indicators of objective physiological dysfunction is highly variable and depends on characteristics of the person, the context and their interaction. This relationship often breaks down entirely in the case of "medically unexplained" or functional somatic symptoms, violating the(More)
The lifetime prevalence of stalking is about 12% in the general population. The risk to become a stalking victim is increased for psychiatrists and psychologists. However, there are no studies with regard to other professions. The present study analyses the lifetime prevalence of stalking victimization for journalists, because some professional tasks may(More)
Multiple medically unexplained physical symptoms (MUPS) are considered to be difficult and costly to treat. The current meta-analysis therefore investigates the efficacy of short-term psychotherapy for MUPS. Based on a multiple-phase literature search, studies were selected according to a-priori defined inclusion criteria. The standardized mean gain was(More)
Absorption as a personality trait refers to the predisposition to get deeply immersed in sensory (e.g., smells, sounds, pictures) or mystical experiences, that is, to experience altered states of consciousness. Absorption is markedly related to constructs openness to experiences, hypnotic suggestibility, imagination, and dissociation. Although absorption(More)
OBJECTIVE Somatosensory amplification refers to a person's tendency to experience somatic sensations as inappropriately intense and involves hypervigilance concerning bodily sensations. We applied the Somatosensory Amplification Scale (SSAS) in an Internet sample of young adults (N=3031) to test whether the SSAS is Rasch scalable. METHODS We applied(More)