Aims: The present study aims to determine whether cognitive-behavioural minimal contact bibliotherapy is acceptable to participants suffering from DSM-IV-TR hypochondriasis, and whether this intervention is able to reduce hypochondriacal complaints, as well as comorbid depressive complaints and trait anxiety.
Method: Participants were assigned to either an immediate treatment condition, or subsequently to a waiting list condition. Participants were sent a book, Doctor, I Hope it's Nothing Serious?, containing cognitive behavioural theory and exercises. Measures were taken pre, post and at follow-up (after 3 months). Those in the waiting list group received a second pre-assessment, and were then enrolled in the bibliotherapy.
Results: Results showed that participants were accepting of the cognitive-behavioural theory. Furthermore, results showed beneficial effects of the intervention: all effect measures decreased significantly over time, with the largest effect at post-assessment. However, a large amount of questionnaires were not returned.
Conclusion: It is concluded that bibliotherapy may be an efficient aid in reducing hypochondriacal and comorbid complaints, but due to data attrition and methodological flaws should first be studied further.