Prognosis of treated hypochondriasis. A clinical study

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1983 Feb;67(2):69-79. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1983.tb06725.x.


Thirty-six patients who had hypochondriacal neurosis for 6 months or longer were treated with individual psychotherapy which focused predominantly on presenting complaints, fears and beliefs. Antianxiety drugs were used at times of anxiety. Sixty-four percent either recovered or improved to the extent that they no longer believed that they had a disease. The improvement was largely maintained on a 2-year follow-up. Good outcome was associated with illnesses of less than 3 years duration, the absence of an additional diagnosis of a personality disorder and there was a nonsignificant trend to belong to a higher social class. Outcome was not associated with age, sex, or severity of initial ratings of anxiety, depression or somatic symptoms. It appears that the prognosis of treated hypochondriacal neurosis is good in a substantial proportion of patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypochondriasis / psychology
  • Hypochondriasis / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Psychotherapy*