Hypochondriacal fears and beliefs in pregnancy

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1990 Jul;82(1):70-2. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1990.tb01358.x.


Illness attitudes were evaluated in 26 pregnant women and 26 control subjects matched for sociodemographic variables, by means of a self-rating scale, on 3 different occasions. For each trimester of pregnancy, women displayed more hypochondriacal fears and beliefs and conviction of disease (disease phobia) than normal controls. In the third trimester, they also reported more fear of dying and bodily preoccupations. The findings should alert physicians to ask their pregnant patients whether they are preoccupied with fear of dying, or are concerned that they suffer from an undiagnosed physical illness, or dread a specific illness such as cancer or heart disease. Hypochondriacal fears and beliefs are liable to affect well-being and the health attitudes of pregnant women. If properly recognized, they may effectively be treated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Image
  • Fear*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypochondriasis / psychology*
  • Personality Tests
  • Pregnancy / psychology*
  • Psychometrics
  • Sick Role*