Worried sick: cCBT and bibliotherapy for somatic symptom disorder and illness anxiety disorder

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Suzanne Dash considers the findings of a recent RCT of exposure-based cognitive-behavioural therapy via the internet and as bibliotherapy for somatic symptom disorder and illness anxiety disorder.

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The CHAMP RCT finds that CBT is more effective than standard care for reducing health anxiety

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Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is substantially more effective than standard care at reducing symptoms of health anxiety in medical patients, and can be delivered by non-specialist staff with minimal training at little extra cost, according to an RCT published by The Lancet today. The CHAMP (Cognitive behaviour therapy for Health Anxiety in Medical Patients) trial [read the full story…]

Hypochondria: a word desperately in need of a makeover

Hypochondria

Hypochondria is an ancient word. It stems from the Greek meaning for the upper abdomen; hypo- is the prefix for below, and -chondro refers to the ribs, so that the Greeks referred imaginatively to the upper abdomen as ‘the bit below the ribs.’ For the Greeks, the abdomen was felt to be the seat of [read the full story…]

Mindfulness shows promise as treatment for health anxiety

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Most of us care about our health (something we elves encourage) but for up to 5% of people, worrying about health has become a significant problem in itself. Severe health anxiety, or hypochondriasis, is said to exist when someone holds a strong fear of having a serious disease, despite all medical assurances to the contrary. [read the full story…]