Health anxiety levels in chronic pain clinic attenders

Sibylle Rode, Paul M Salkovskis, Helen Dowd, Magdi Hanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Citations (SciVal)


Objective: An application of the cognitive-behavioural model of health anxiety (hypochondriasis) to chronic pain depends on the extent to which high levels of health anxiety occur in chronic pain, which has yet to be established.
Methods: The occurrence of health anxiety in consecutively recruited chronic pain patients (n=161) and nonclinical controls with (n=34) and without pain (n=70) was investigated using a questionnaire measure of health anxiety.
Results: Conservative figures estimated a frequency of 36.7% for hypochondriasis and 51.1% of severe and disabling health anxiety in the chronic pain sample.
Conclusion: The current finding that high levels of health anxiety are indeed very common in chronic pain indicates the potential value of an application of the cognitive-behavioural health anxiety model to at least the subgroup of highly health-anxious chronic pain patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-161
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • hypochondriasis
  • chronic pain
  • pain clinic attenders
  • health care
  • cognitive behavioral model
  • health anxiety


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