The Health Anxiety Inventory: Development and validation of scales for the measurement of health anxiety and hypochondriasis

Paul M Salkovskis, Katharine A Rimes, H Warwick, D Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

638 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Describes the development and validation of a self-rated scale of health anxiety that is sensitive across the full range of intensity, differentiates people suffering from health anxiety from those who have actual physical illness but who are not excessively concerned about their health, and encompasses the full range of clinical symptoms characteristic of clinical hypochondriasis. Three studies were conducted. First, the questionnaire was validated by comparing the responses of 33 Ss with hypochondriasis with the responses of 59 Ss with hypochondriasis and panic disorder, 26 Ss with panic disorder, 22 Ss with social phobia and 22 non-patient controls. Secondly, a state version of the questionnaire was administered to 22 patients undergoing cognitive-behavioral treatment or on a wait-list in order to examine the measure's sensitivity to change. In the 3rd study, a shortened version was developed and validated in similar samples, and in a range of samples of people seeking medical help for physical illness. The scale was found to be reliable and to have a high internal consistency. A development and refinement of the scale was found to be reliable and valid. A very short version of the scale was found to have comparable properties to the full length scale.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843-853
Number of pages11
JournalPsychological Medicine: A Journal of Research in Psychiatry and the Allied Sciences
Volume32
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Keywords

  • shortened version
  • hypochondriasis
  • health anxiety scale
  • sensitivity
  • test validity
  • test development
  • health anxiety
  • social phobia
  • panic disorder
  • self-rated scale

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