CBT is Effective for Health Anxiety in Medical Settings

According to a recent study published in the Lancet, researchers have discovered that a short course of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) may be an effective and inexpensive method of reducing health anxiety among patients in medical clinics. The Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Health Anxiety in Medical Patients (CHAMP) study included 444 participants with health anxiety who were attending different medical clinics across six UK hospitals. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either 5 to 10 sessions of CBT (n=219) or standard care (n=225). After one year, twice as many patients in the CBT group reached normal levels of health anxiety.  These improvements were sustained for 2 years, and there was no significant cost difference between the two groups. These findings suggest that a wider application of CBT in medical care may be beneficial to patients in medical settings.

Tyrer, P., Cooper, S., Salkovskis, P., Tyrer, H., Crawford, M., Byford, S., Dupont, S., … McLaren, E. (2014). Clinical and cost-effectiveness of cognitive behaviour therapy for health anxiety in medical patients: a multicentre randomised controlled trial.The Lancet, 383, 9913, 219-225.

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