Psykologisk Institut

Health Anxiety: Conceptualization and Future Directions

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Health anxiety, characterized by excessive concern about one's health, is a serious and costly public health problem. The disorder might become chronic if left untreated. Unfortunately many patients do not receive timely or proper treatment due to sparse treatment resources. Also, existing treatment programs, though effective for many, do not work for all. This paper discusses the conceptualization of health anxiety and future directions based on novel research findings. These include: (i) the content and characteristics of autobiographical memories and episodic future thoughts in severe health anxiety, (ii) related concepts such as cyberchondria with excessive Internet browsing on health issues and health anxiety by proxy, where parents display and might confer health anxiety towards their children, (iii) an epidemiological perspective on the association between health anxiety and subclinical psychotic experiences in preadolescence. Exploring these new dimensions could have important implications for the further development of preventive strategies and effective treatment.

TidsskriftZeitschrift fur Psychologie / Journal of Psychology
Sider (fra-til)141-144
StatusUdgivet - maj 2020

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