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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Psychotherapies for hypochondriasis

Overview of attention for article published in this source, October 2007
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Title
Psychotherapies for hypochondriasis
Published by
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, October 2007
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd006520.pub2
Pubmed ID
Authors

Thomson, Alex, Page, Lisa

Abstract

Hypochondriasis is associated with significant medical morbidity and high health resource use. Recent studies have examined the treatment of hypochondriasis using various forms of psychotherapy. To examine the effectiveness and comparative effectiveness of any form of psychotherapy for the treatment of hypochondriasis. 1. CCDANCTR-Studies and CCDANCTR-References were searched on 7/8/2007, CENTRAL, Medline, PsycINFO, EMBASE, Cinahl, ISI Web of Knowledge, AMED and WorldCat Dissertations; Current Controlled Trials meta-register (mRCT), CenterWatch, NHS National Research Register and clinicaltrials.gov; 2. Communication with authors of relevant studies and other clinicians in the field; 3. Handsearching reference lists of included studies and relevant review articles, and electronic citation search in ISI Web of Knowledge for all included studies. All randomised controlled studies, both published and unpublished, in any language, in which adults with hypochondriasis were treated with a psychological intervention. Data were extracted independently by two authors using a standardised extraction sheet. Study quality was assessed independently by the two authors qualitatively and using a standardised scale. Meta-analyses were performed using RevMan software. Standardised or weighted mean differences were used to pool data for continuous outcomes and odds ratios were used to pool data for dichotomous outcomes, together with 95% confidence intervals. Six studies were included, with a total of 440 participants. The interventions examined were cognitive therapy (CT), behavioural therapy (BT), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), behavioural stress management (BSM) and psychoeducation. All forms of psychotherapy except psychoeducation showed a significant improvement in hypochondriacal symptoms compared to waiting list control (SMD (random) [95% CI] = -0.86 [-1.25 to -0.46]). For some therapies, significant improvements were found in the secondary outcomes of general functioning (CBT), resource use (psychoeducation), anxiety (CT, BSM), depression (CT, BSM) and physical symptoms (CBT). These secondary outcome findings were based on smaller numbers of participants and there was significant heterogeneity between studies. Cognitive therapy, behavioural therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and behavioural stress management are effective in reducing symptoms of hypochondriasis. However, studies included in the review used small numbers of participants and do not allow estimation of effect size, comparison between different types of psychotherapy or whether people are "cured". Most long-term outcome data were uncontrolled. Further studies should make use of validated rating scales, assess treatment acceptability and effect on resource use, and determine the active ingredients and nonspecific factors that are important in psychotherapy for hypochondriasis.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 206 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
New Zealand 2 <1%
Spain 1 <1%
Norway 1 <1%
Unknown 202 98%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 27 13%
Student > Bachelor 27 13%
Researcher 22 11%
Student > Ph. D. Student 21 10%
Student > Doctoral Student 15 7%
Other 43 21%
Unknown 51 25%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Psychology 68 33%
Medicine and Dentistry 45 22%
Social Sciences 6 3%
Nursing and Health Professions 5 2%
Business, Management and Accounting 4 2%
Other 19 9%
Unknown 59 29%