A case study of an adolescent with health anxiety and OCD, treated using CBT: single-case experimental design

Cara Roberts-Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


PROBLEM: The sparse research evidence base for adolescents with health anxiety proposes a challenge in the treatment of such mental health difficulties. Similarities are drawn between health anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in terms of their development and maintenance. The literature is reviewed and discussed in relation to the referral, assessment, formulation, cognitive behavioral intervention, and treatment outcome. METHODS: The case of an adolescent girl (aged 15 years) who presented with significant levels of health anxiety and OCD is described. An adult cognitive behavioral model of health anxiety was adapted and integrated with evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for children and adolescents with OCD. These models were used to collaboratively conceptualize the young person's presenting difficulties. A single-case experimental design was employed to assess the effectiveness of the intervention. FINDINGS AND CONCLUSION: Routine outcome measures demonstrated the effectiveness of the OCD intervention, and the need for further research in health anxiety in young people, including the development of disorder and age-specific measures. The implications for the use of CBT to treat health anxiety for young people are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-104
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2016



  • Child and adolescent
  • Cognitive behavior therapy
  • Health anxiety

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