Skip to main content Skip to search
Internet-based cognitive-behavioural therapy for severe health anxiety: randomised controlled trial
The British Journal of Psychiatry
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2011
Pages: 230 - 236
Source ID: shanti-sources-49411
Abstract: Hypochondriasis, characterised by severe health anxiety, is a common condition associated with functional disability. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is an effective but not widely disseminated treatment for hypochondriasis. Internet-based CBT, including guidance in the form of minimal therapist contact via email, could be a more accessible treatment, but no study has investigated internet-based CBT for hypochondriasis.AIMS: To investigate the efficacy of internet-based CBT for hypochondriasis. METHOD: A randomised controlled superiority trial with masked assessment comparing internet-based CBT (n = 40) over 12 weeks with an attention control condition (n = 41) for people with hypochondriasis. The primary outcome measure was the Health Anxiety Inventory. This trial is registrated with ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT00828152). RESULTS: Participants receiving internet-based CBT made large and superior improvements compared with the control group on measures of health anxiety (between-group Cohen's d range 1.52-1.62). CONCLUSIONS: Internet-based CBT is an efficacious treatment for hypochondriasis that has the potential to increase accessibility and availability of CBT for hypochodriasis.