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Cognitive behavioural therapy significantly improves hypochondriacal symptoms

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Q Is cognitive behavioural therapy an effective treatment for hypochondriasis?

METHODS

Embedded ImageDesign:

Randomised controlled trial.

Embedded ImageAllocation:

Concealed.

Embedded ImageBlinding:

Assessors blinded to treatment.

Embedded ImageFollow up period:

12 months.

Embedded ImageSetting:

Primary care practices, Boston, Mass., USA; September 1997 to November 2001.

Embedded ImagePatients:

187 people aged 18 years or older, scoring >150 (range 52–258) on the hypochondriasis screening questionnaire, who had consulted a primary care physician in the preceding 12 months. People who were seriously ill, psychotic, suicidal, suffering from somatoform pain disorder, or undergoing disability related proceedings or litigation, were excluded.

Embedded ImageIntervention:

Six 90 minute weekly sessions of individual cognitive behavioural therapy, specifically addressing hypochondriasis and including educational information, or usual care. …

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