Recommendations for the Treatment of Hypochondriac Patients

  title={Recommendations for the Treatment of Hypochondriac Patients},
  author={Mar{\'i}a Dolores Avia and Maria Amparo L{\'o}pez Ruiz},
  journal={Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy},
  • M. D. Avia, M. Ruiz
  • Published 1 October 2005
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy
Hypochondriasis is a debilitating condition in which patients are persistently preoccupied with the possibility of being seriously ill. Its is a costly problem for the health care system whose treatment has not received systematic attention until recently. Although based on few controlled studies, results indicated that various brief cognitive-behavioral techniques produce significant changes in illness fears and attitudes. A list of therapeutic questions that require further study is presented… 
Health anxiety and hypochondriasis: Description and treatment issues highlighted through a case illustration.
The authors review the research literature related to health anxiety and discuss the beneficial treatments of CBT and pharmacology, including the utilization of intensive cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Hypochondriasis and Somatization Disorder
The longer and more persistently this pattern appears, the more likely it will generate referrals to specialists for expert consultation, greater frustration in both the primary physician and the patient, and ultimately dysfunctional patient–physician relationships with inappropriate labeling of the patient as a “problem” or “difficult” patient.
Hypochondriasis and Somatization Disorder: New Perspectives
The blurred boundaries between illnesses presenting with somatic symptoms confronts both psychiatrists and primary care physicians with one of the most challenging issues in patient care, with some patients facing a chronic search for relief.
Health anxiety symptoms among Icelandic fibromyalgia patients and their impact on quality of life
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Treatment Acceptability and Preference Among Primary Care Patients Experiencing Severe Health Anxiety: The Role of Internet-Delivered Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
This paper is intended to provide a history of the field and some of the techniques used, as well as some examples of individual cases, that have been used in the field.
Anxiety Stable Analysis Pattern


Psychotherapeutic strategies in hypochondriasis: a clinical study.
  • R. Kellner
  • Medicine, Psychology
    American journal of psychotherapy
  • 1982
Thirty-six patients who had hypochondriacal neurosis for six months or longer were treated with individual psychotherapy. The therapy focused mainly on: accurate information about the
Invited essay∗Hypochondriasis☆
A cognitive-educational treatment for hypochondriasis.
Prognosis of treated hypochondriasis
  • R. Kellner
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Acta psychiatrica Scandinavica
  • 1983
The prognosis of treated hypochondriacal neurosis is good in a substantial proportion of patients and good outcome was associated with illnesses of less than 3 years duration, the absence of an additional diagnosis of a personality disorder and there was a nonsignificant trend to belong to a higher social class.
Explanatory therapy in hypochondriasis.
It is suggested that hypochondriasis is a treatable condition and that explanatory therapy is a viable therapeutic tool, and further research should disclose the actual components of the mechanism of change in Hypochondriacal patients.
Two psychological treatments for hypochondriasis
It was shown that cognitive therapy was more effective than behavioural stress management on measures of hypochondriasis, but not general mood disturbance at mid-treatment and at post-treatment.
The treatment of hypochondriasis: exposure plus response prevention vs cognitive therapy.
Morbid preoccupations, health anxiety and reassurance: a cognitive-behavioural approach to hypochondriasis.
Treating Hypochondriasis with Interpersonal Psychotherapy
The treatment of hypochondriacal patients can be conceptualized as taking one of three approaches. These typically address one of the following questions: 1) “Should the patient be preoccupied?” 2)
Cognitive and Behavioural Treatment of Hypochondriasis
Cognitive and behavioural interventions seem to be active ingredients in the treatment of hypochondriasis, although the contribution of nonspecific factors (e.g. patient motivation, therapist attitudes, and the therapeutic relationship) requires further study.