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This study will compare the efficacy of cognitive therapy and exposure therapy for treating hypochondriasis.
Hypochondriasis is defined as a preoccupation with the fear of having a serious disease based on the person's misinterpretation of bodily symptoms (APA). For a long time hypochondriasis was seen as difficult to treat. Meanwhile effective psychological treatment for hypochondriasis exists. Psychotherapies using cognitive therapy (CT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy (ET) or behavioral stress management approaches are effective in reducing symptoms of hypochondriasis. However, few studies compare different types of psychotherapy. In addition, in these studies numbers of participants were small, no differences between different treatments were found, and one third of the participants showed no satisfactory change. This study will compare the efficacy of CT and ET in a larger sample of 84 participants.
Participants in this randomized controlled trial (RCT) will first undergo baseline assessment. Then they will be randomly assigned to either CT, ET or a waiting list (WL), all conditions are for the duration of 12 weeks. CT includes psychoeducation, attention training, cognitive restructuring, behavioral experiments, and relapse prevention. ET includes change of safety behavior, exposition (in sensu and in vivo), imagery rescripting and relapse prevention. Both treatment trials contain the identical number of sessions. Treatment response will be assessed at week 12 and additionally one and three years after treatment. Participants of the WL will be assigned to CT or ET after the waiting period.
Allocation: Randomized, Control: Active Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment
Psychotherapy (CT or ET)
Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy of the Wolfgang Goethe University
Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-23T21:09:17-0400
The purpose of this study was to examined if psychotherapy is an effecitive treatment for hypochondriasis.
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Any form of psychotherapy designed to produce therapeutic change within a minimal amount of time, generally not more than 20 sessions.
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