Health anxiety in Australia: prevalence, comorbidity, disability and service use

  title={Health anxiety in Australia: prevalence, comorbidity, disability and service use},
  author={Matthew Sunderland and Jill Maree Newby and Gavin Andrews},
  journal={British Journal of Psychiatry},
  pages={56 - 61}
BACKGROUND Health anxiety is associated with high distress, disability and increased health service utilisation. [] Key MethodMETHOD Lifetime and current prevalence estimates, associations between comorbid disorders, psychological distress, impairment, disability and mental health service utilisation were generated using the Australian 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing.

Health Anxiety and Its Relationship to Disability and Service Use: Findings From a Large Epidemiological Survey

It is important to recognize and treat health anxiety, even when coexisting with other conditions, to prevent high disability burden and excessive service use.

Age and Gender-Related Differences in Health Anxiety and Perceived Anxiety-Control Level among Patients with Acute Cardiac Syndrome

It was determined that a higher level of perceived anxiety control was associated with lower level of health anxiety based on both SHAI and illness attitude scale which is incomparable results to this study.

Health anxiety in older people

  • G. Byrne
  • Psychology, Medicine
    International Psychogeriatrics
  • 2022
It is found that persons aged 65–85 years reported fewer overall worries than persons aged 16–29 years and worried less about their own health and more about the health and welfare of loved ones and the number of chronic diseases was positively associated with the odds of having health anxiety.

Health anxiety and illness behaviour in children of mothers with severe health anxiety.

A community-based epidemiological study of health anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder.

Cost of high prevalence mental disorders: Findings from the 2007 Australian National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing

The population with high prevalence mental disorders not only incurs substantial cost to the Australian healthcare system but also large economic losses to society.

Health Anxiety in Preadolescence - Associated Health Problems, Healthcare Expenditure, and Continuity in Childhood

It is concluded that HA symptoms, including hypochondriacal fears and beliefs, were non-trivial in preadolescents; they showed continuity from early childhood and association with emotional disorders, unspecific somatic complaints, and increased healthcare expenditure.

Health anxiety in stroke survivors: a cross-sectional study on the prevalence of health anxiety in stroke survivors and its impact on quality of life.

The authors' findings suggest almost one in three stroke survivors residing in the community have clinical levels of health anxiety, with high health anxiety significantly related to lower levels of quality of life.

Continuity of health anxiety from childhood to adolescence and associated healthcare costs: a prospective population-based cohort study.

A small subgroup of children had persistent high levels of HA from late childhood to adolescence and displayed increased healthcare costs and increased costs were not explained by chronic somatic illness.

Health anxiety is an important driver of healthcare use

A small increase in HA was associated with progressively increased healthcare use across the three health services, indicating that the impact of HA is more prominent with higher healthcare use.



2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Methods and Key Findings

Mental disorders are common in Australia, and many people have more than one class of mental disorder, yet many people with mental disorders do not seek help for their mental health problems.

Health Anxiety and Disability Pension Award: The HUSK Study

Health anxiety was a strong predictor of disability pension award, exceeding the effect of general anxiety, and comparable to the effects of depression, and was not accounted for by other mental disorders.

Kessler Psychological Distress Scale: Normative Data from the 2007 Australian National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing

Analysis of cross-sectional data from the 2007 Australian National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, a nationally representative household survey of 8841 adults found that the SSLRs were informative in ruling in a diagnosis of mental disorder, particularly at the high or very high end of the psychological distress spectrum.

The Outcome of Health Anxiety in Primary Care. A Two-Year Follow-up Study on Health Care Costs and Self-Rated Health

This study supports the validity of recently introduced new criteria for Health anxiety and finds it to be a disturbing and persistent condition that is costly for the health care system and must be taken seriously.

Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of 12-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication.

Although mental disorders are widespread, serious cases are concentrated among a relatively small proportion of cases with high comorbidity, as shown in the recently completed US National Comorbidities Survey Replication.

Features of Hypochondriasis and Illness Worry in the General Population in Germany

The results provide additional support to not only consider “full” DSM-IV hypochondriasis, which is a very rare disorder in the general population, but also to include less restrictive hypochondRIac conditions—associated with a clinically relevant degree of psychological and physical impairment—into clinical and scientific considerations.

Normative Data for the 12 Item WHO Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0

The overall factor structure and the distribution of scores and normative data (means and SDs) for people with any physical disorder, any mental disorder and forPeople with neither are reported.

Estimating the Prevalence of DSM-IV Mental Illness in the Australian General Population Using the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale

Using a logistic regression model, the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale can be used to generate predicted probabilities of mental illness with an acceptable level of agreement in Australian-based population studies where it is not feasible to conduct a comprehensive assessment.

The performance of the K6 and K10 screening scales for psychological distress in the Australian National Survey of Mental Health and Well-Being

The K6 is preferred in screening for any DSM-IV mood or anxiety disorder because of its brevity and consistency across subsamples, and Precision of individual-level prediction is greatly improved by using polychotomous rather than dichotomous classification.

Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication.

Lifetime prevalence estimates are higher in recent cohorts than in earlier cohorts and have fairly stable intercohort differences across the life course that vary in substantively plausible ways among sociodemographic subgroups.