Hypochondriasis and Health Anxiety

Course Description

An essential resource for anyone providing services for individuals with somatoform or anxiety disorders Cognitive-behavioral therapy is now the treatment of choice for individuals with health anxiety and related problems. The latest research shows that it results in reductions in health-related worries, reassurance-seeking behavior, and phobic avoidance, as well as increases in life satisfaction and everyday functioning. This compact, easy to understand book by experts Jonathan S. Abramowitz and Autumn E. Braddock opens with an overview of the diagnostic issues and assessment of health anxiety, and delineates a research-based conceptual framework for understanding the development, maintenance, and treatment of this problem. The focus of the book is a highly practical guide to implementing treatment, packed with helpful clinical pearls, therapist-patient dialogues, illustrative case vignettes, and sample forms and handouts. Readers are equipped with skills for engaging reluctant patients in treatment and tailoring educational, cognitive, and behavioral techniques for health-related anxiety. The book, which also addresses common obstacles in treatment, represents an essential resource for anyone providing services for individuals with somatoform or anxiety disorders.

Learning Objectives

Chapter 1 Description of Health Anxiety
  1.  Compare health anxiety and clinical health anxiety.
  2. State why “hypochondriasis” is being replace by “health anxiety.” (Clinical Pearl)
  3. Discuss the epidemiology, course and prognosis of health anxiety.
  4. Describe somatization disorder and somatic delusion.
  5. Compare illness phobia and hypochondriasis.
  6. Discuss generalized anxiety disorder.
  7. Describe the three self-report inventories.
Chapter 2 Theories and Models of Health Anxiety
  1. Define the biopsychosocial model.
  2. List the origin of core beliefs.
  3. Describe physiological maintenance factors.
  4. Discuss the three ways in which anxious apprehension affects cognitive processing in those with health anxiety.
  5. Describe the three behavioral maintenance factors.
Chapter 3 Diagnosis and Treatment Indications
  1. Discuss the task of the mental health practitioner when assessing the patient.
  2. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of cognitive behavior therapy.
  3. List several ways CBT can be presented to a patient.
  4. List several topics for eliciting change talk.
Chapter 4 Treatment
  1. Describe the functional assessment.
  2. Describe the four psychoeducation modules of CBT,
  3. Compare all-or-nothing thinking and fortune-telling.
  4. Discuss possibilities and probabilities when describing health anxiety.
  5. Discuss short-and long-term advantages of living with uncertainity.
  6. Describe the “Pie Chart Technique.”
  7. Define exposure and response prevention.
  8. Compare situational and interoceptive exposure.
  9. Discuss the SUDS scale.
  10. Discuss the development of interceptive exposure.
  11. List the cognitive therapy techniques used during exposure, according to the Clinical Pearl (pg.54).
  12. Describe response prevention.
  13. Define habituation.
  14. Discuss cultural factors that influence assessment and treatment of health anxiety.