Health Anxiety in a Dermatology Practice

Abstract: Health Anxiety is a common affliction of patients seeking medical attention, yet many physicians are unaware of it.  We surveyed 222 consecutive patients in a dermatology practice in Massachusetts and found that upwards of 49% self-reported some level of health anxiety, suggersting that it appears to be pandemic in the dermatology population of patients. Keywords: health anxiety, dermatology, Massachusetts, actinic keratoses, cryotherapy, survey,, Tyrer Introduction Patients see doctors with varying degrees of concern regarding their health. Some, require tests or treatments. A subset of patients have severe health anxiety (HA) and cannot be reassured by tests, procedures or pharmaceuticals but may be helped (at least temporarily) by a sympathetic … Continue reading

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Health Anxiety

seen every day in medical offices Health Anxiety: lurking in plain sight All practitioners will learn useful information from this article. Excerpts “Many patients, despite how much they would like to, cannot do what we would like them to do: ‘stop worrying.’” As physicians, we see a few such people every day. Health Anxiety seems to be epidemic (perhaps, endemic) in our communities, yet it is poorly recognized. “People with health anxiety do not ask relief from somatic symptom, but rather only desire freedom from worry about disease. A key component of health anxiety is rumination, so that patients cannot stop thinking about a disease once the thought has come … Continue reading

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