Fast Five Quiz: Are You Prepared to Treat Patients With Illness Anxiety Disorder?

Stephen Soreff, MD


May 01, 2018

Randomized controlled trials now suggest that CBT is efficacious in the treatment of illness anxiety disorder and may be the recommended treatment for patients with illness anxiety disorder. Exposure therapy is a form of CBT that also seems promising for illness anxiety disorder. The intent of exposure therapy is to reduce the physical and emotional distress associated with a particular object, situation, thought, or memory. This involves reliving a traumatic experience, confronting a feared object or situation, or dealing with a distressing thought while in a controlled environment.

Bibliotherapy, using CBT principles, may also be useful. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy also appears to be effective when added to usual care.

In a meta-analysis of outcomes using CBT for illness anxiety disorder, higher pretreatment severity and greater number of CBT sessions was associated with higher effect size.

For more on psychotherapy in patients with illness anxiety disorder, read here.


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