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Psychological medicine

Managing health anxiety in primary care

Alison Mahoney, Edward Wims, Gavin Andrews

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Abstract

Health anxiety is common and costly for the community. Cognitive behavioural therapy can be useful to manage patients with this condition.

Article Extract

Once a medical condition has been ruled out, patients with health anxiety should be treated with cognitive behavioural therapy.

Patients with health anxiety worry excessively about having a serious illness despite adequate medical assurance that they do not. They often experience medically unexplained symptoms and misinterpret bodily sensations as signs of serious illness. Patients with health anxiety can be frustrating and costly to treat. The current article provides guidelines for the management of these patients in primary care.

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