Background: The present maintenance study investigated whether the reduction in hypochondriacal complaints after initial treatment with CBT or paroxetine sustained during a follow-up period and whether psychiatric severity at pretest predicted the course of hypochondriacal symptoms.
Method: A naturalistic follow-up period of 18 months after a 16-week RCT consisting of 33 patients initially allocated to a CBT condition and 29 patients to a paroxetine condition. The main outcome measure was the Whiteley Index.
Results: The initial treatment effect of CBT and paroxetine sustained during the follow-up period. No significant differences between CBT and paroxetine were found. Treatment course could not be predicted by psychiatric comorbidity.
Conclusion: CBT and paroxetine are both effective treatments for hypochondriasis in the long term.