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Q Are cognitive behavioural therapy and paroxetine more effective than placebo for hypochondriasis?
Randomised controlled trial.
Double blind (paroxetine and pill placebo groups only, blinding for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) group not described).
Three psychiatric outpatient units in the Netherlands; January 1998 to July 2002.
112 adults (aged over 18 years) with hypochondriasis (DSM-IV). Main exclusions: severe comorbidity; substance abuse; diagnosis of anxiety or depression; use of antidepressants, antipsychotics or anticoagulants; already receiving psychotherapy; pregnancy or breastfeeding.
CBT (6–16 individual sessions as needed), paroxetine (up to 60 mg daily), or pill placebo for 16 weeks.
Symptoms of hypochondriasis (4-point Likert scale version of the Whiteley Index); response (Jacobson and Truax criteria).
73% completed treatment (75% of CBT group; 70% of paroxetine group; 74% of placebo group); 97% included in last observation carried forward analyses.
Pooling results for CBT and paroxetine showed significantly improved symptoms compared with placebo (mean …
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