Would you be pleased or displeased to learn that your next new patient is a hypochondriac? Would you perform a complete review of systems and investigate appropriately each new symptom that you uncovered? The term “hypochondriasis” was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition (DSM-5) in 2013, presumably because of the stigma attached to it, and the term “health anxiety” is now commonly used in its place. In 2 representative studies, patients with health anxiety composed 2%-7% and 3%-13% of the medical population.
1As you would expect, these patients consume more health care dollars and physician time than other patients.
- Khare S.
- Srivastava M.N.
Validity of current treatment protocols to overcome hypochondriasis.
J Clin Diagn Res. 2017; 11: VE01-VE4
2I am sure that you can easily recall at least 1 such patient.
- Fink P.
- Ørnbøl E.
- Christensen K.S.
The outcome of health anxiety in primary care. A two-year follow-up study on health care costs and self-rated health.
PLoS One. 2010; 5e9873
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- Validity of current treatment protocols to overcome hypochondriasis.J Clin Diagn Res. 2017; 11: VE01-VE4
- The outcome of health anxiety in primary care. A two-year follow-up study on health care costs and self-rated health.PLoS One. 2010; 5e9873
- Increase in the prevalence of health anxiety in medical clinics: possible cyberchondria.Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2019; 65: 566-569
- Death rates and the 1983 doctors’ strike in Israel.Lancet. 1984; 1: 107
- Clinical and cost-effectiveness of cognitive behaviour therapy for health anxiety in medical patients: a multicentre randomised controlled trial.Lancet. 2014; 383: 219-225
Published online: April 15, 2020
Accepted: November 21, 2019
Received: November 20, 2019
See page 821 for disclosure information.
© 2020 Canadian Cardiovascular Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.