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Monday 24th October 2016

Cognitive therapy care for hypochondria

18th October 2013

A study of over 200 people has shown that a course of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be more effective in treatment of health anxiety than other types of treatment.

Health anxiety, or hypochondria, is a condition which results in a patient worrying obsessively about their health. It is estimated that it affects between 10% and 20% of hospital patients. It is a condition that is very costly for healthcare providers and very distressing for patients.

The researchers found, after a course of CBT, 14% of patients regained normal anxiety levels. This was in contrast to just 7% given basic reassurance.

The therapy as part of the study was delivered by non-CBT experts who had been trained in just two workshops. The researchers went on to say that nurses could easily be trained to offer the psychological therapy so that hypochondria could be successfully treated, in a "relatively cheap" way, by general nurses with minimal training in a hospital setting.


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