Morbid preoccupations, health anxiety and reassurance: a cognitive-behavioural approach to hypochondriasis
Salkovskis PM., Warwick HMC.
The concept of 'hypochondriasis' is examined and an alternative cognitive-behavioural approach to health preoccupation is proposed. Avoidance behaviour (reassurance seeking and checking bodily status) is suggested as an important maintaining factor. In two single case experiments, short-and long-term effects of medical reassurance are assessed in 'hypochondriacal' patients; results are fully consistent with the model. Treatment designed to eliminate reassurance and hence to facilitate self-directed exposure and cognitive change proved rapidly effective. © 1986.