Psychological Treatment of Health Anxiety and Hypochondriasis: A Biopsychosocial Approach

Psychological Treatment of Health Anxiety and Hypochondriasis: A Biopsychosocial Approach
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In this study, all subjects were completely at liberty to participate in the research and signed a free and informed consent form. In accordance with ethical considerations, before completing the questionnaire, the research objectives were explained to participants and they were assured that the information collected would be analyzed by group. Research has shown that anxiety sensitivity and dysfunctional cognition about health may play a significant role in development and maintenance of health anxiety symptoms.

Data were cleaned and screened. Thus, list-wise deletion with no imputation of data was used for the present analyses. Assumptions of normality were checked, and skew was not evident in the subscales or total scale score for the normative group. Confirmatory factor analysis was chosen to examine the ASI-3's suitability. The Bartlett test and the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin index were used to determine the adequacy of the sample.

Multivariate analysis of variance MANOVA was employed to investigate gender-based difference between women and men for the three ASI-3 subscales dependent variables with gender used as an independent variable in the analysis. Box's M assumption of the homogeneity of variance-covariance matrices and the assumption normality were tested and confirmed in advance. Concurrent validity was investigated by examining Pearson correlations. The internal consistency of the ASI-3 and its subscales was calculated using Cronbach's alpha coefficient.

Data were analyzed using SPSS In this study, the age range of all women, Table 1 shows the means and standard deviations for total anxiety sensitivity score and the three factors for women and men. Table 2 shows correlations between ASI-3 factors and total score. The results for divergent and convergent validity are presented in Table 3. Figure 1 shows the relationships between sensitivity to anxiety and its subscales and individual items. The Bartlett test returned a Chi-square value of 1, The Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin index value was 0. These two results indicate the adequacy of the sample and are good indicators of the suitability of data for factor analysis.

In total, Reliability of the ASI-3 was assessed using Cronbach's alpha coefficients. Cronbach's alpha coefficients were 0. On the other hand, the total ASI-3 score has a coefficient of 0. The purpose of this study was to assess the psychometric properties of the Iranian version of the ASI The results showed that the three-factor structure of this scale had an acceptable fit. After performing factor analysis, 3 factors of physical, cognitive, and social concerns were extracted from the total scale, which explained These findings are consistent with the findings of Taylor et al.

Studies have shown that each factor is associated with different constructs. Physical concerns are strongly associated with panic disorder, agoraphobia, health anxiety, and somatization. Some studies did not find a specific relationship between cognitive concerns and anxiety disorders, but they did seem to be more associated with general distress and depression, 3 , 49 , 50 while other studies have concluded that cognitive concerns are associated with generalized anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

These findings were consistent with Taylor et al. The ASI-3 also had good internal consistency.

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Cronbach's alpha coefficient was 0. These findings are also consistent with the findings of the study by Taylor et al. Additionally, in the present study, the three sub-scales were highly correlated with total anxiety sensitivity score ranging from 0. These results are consistent with studies by Sandin et al.

Earlier studies with the original versions of anxiety sensitivity have suggested that anxiety sensitivity is associated with a range of psychopathological symptoms. The analyses showed that anxiety sensitivity has positive and significant correlations with all of these measures.

These findings are consistent with a meta-analysis by Kristin Naragon-Gainey, who found a large effect size for the relationship between anxiety sensitivity and psychopathology, 52 and also with other studies that showed that anxiety sensitivity is positively correlated with health anxiety, intolerance of uncertainty, and neuroticism. This finding is consistent with Wheaton et al.

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The fear of arousal-related sensations causes people to mistakenly believe that harmless symptoms or sensations are signs of a medical problem that leads to health anxiety. The results showed that anxiety sensitivity has a negative and significant correlation with the AAQ. In general, the results of this study showed that the Iranian version of the ASI-3 has acceptable psychometric properties in the student community and has high consistency and convergent and divergent validity.

Anxiety sensitivity plays an important role in most of the emotional disorders, such as panic disorder and health anxiety. The ASI-3 is a short and cost-efficient measure which can be easily administered and so researchers and therapists can use the ASI-3 as a reliable and valid measure. The present study has several limitations. One of the limitations of this research was using the scale with a non-clinical sample of students and another is the convenience sampling method which may limit generalizability. We also did not have an adequate number of participants in subgroups women and 85 men to examine measurement invariance across genders.

It is therefore necessary to examine the psychometric properties of the ASI-3, especially its factor structure, in the clinical community with clinically elevated levels of mood and anxiety disorders. Future studies are needed to establish invariance of the ASI-3 across genders with larger sample sizes.

An extension of the present study is highly recommended to confirm the ASI-3 as an appropriate assessment measure in clinical psychology research and practice. The expectancy model of fear. Theoretical issue in behavior therapy. San Diego: Academic Press; Reiss S.

Health anxiety, somatic obsessions, or hypochondriasis

Expectancy model of fear, anxiety, and panic. Clin Psychol Rev. Taylor S, Cox BJ.

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An expanded Anxiety Sensitivity Index: evidence for a hierarchic structure in a clinical sample. J Anxiety Disord.

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McNally RJ. Anxiety sensitivity and panic disorder. Biol Psychiatry. Confirmatory factor analysis and psychometric properties of the Anxiety Sensitivity Index-Revised in clinical and normative populations. Eur J Psychol Assess. Anxiety sensitivity: Progress, prospects, and challenges. In: Taylor S. Anxiety sensitivity: theory, research, and treatment of the fear of anxiety. London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates; Anxiety sensitivity and the anxiety disorders: a meta-analytic review and synthesis. Behav Dev Bull. Prospective evaluation of anxiety sensitivity in the pathogenesis of panic: Replication and extension.

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