CBT is effective for treating patients with health anxiety, study showsBMJ 2017; 358 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j4177 (Published 07 September 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j4177
- Gareth Iacobucci
- The BMJ
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help patients overcome health anxiety effectively and could avoid thousands of unnecessary NHS appointments if used more widely, a clinical trial has found.1
UK researchers estimated that one in five people attending general hospital clinics has abnormal health anxiety, exacerbated by researching symptoms online. Symptoms include chest pains or headaches that persist despite medical reassurance that the patient’s distress has no physical cause.
The CHAMP (cognitive behaviour therapy for health anxiety in medical patients) study examined the effectiveness of CBT-HA, a modified form of CBT targeted at people who worry excessively about their health and frequently seek reassurance and diagnosis from clinicians.