Health Behavior in Hypochondriasis

J Nerv Ment Dis. 2015 Jul;203(7):493-8. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000318.


The relationship between health behavior and hypochondriasis has not yet been sufficiently examined, as previous studies investigated only individual dimensions of health behavior. In the present study, we extend current literature by examining multiple dimensions of health behavior. One hundred twenty-six participants, consisting of 40 participants with a primary diagnosis of hypochondriasis, 41 participants with a primary diagnosis of anxiety disorder, and 45 healthy controls, completed a multidimensional questionnaire for the assessment of health behavior and other measures for the evaluation of general psychopathology, illness anxiety, depression, and general anxiety. Patients with hypochondriasis revealed a less active way of life (d = 0.89) and lower hygiene (d = 0.60) than healthy controls, but did not differ from healthy controls regarding their compliance to medical recommendations. No differences were found in substance avoidance, security orientation, and diet. Hypochondriasis-specific behavior should be monitored in the treatment of the disorder.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Comorbidity
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Hygiene
  • Hypochondriasis / diagnosis*
  • Hypochondriasis / epidemiology
  • Hypochondriasis / psychology*
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance / psychology
  • Reference Values
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult