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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2015 Nov;203(11):883-5. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000385.

Response and Remission After Cognitive and Exposure Therapy for Hypochondriasis.

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*Department of Clinical Psychology, Psychotherapy, and Experimental Psychopathology, University of Mainz, Mainz; and †Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


Cognitive behavioral therapy has demonstrated large effect sizes for the treatment of hypochondriasis. However, response and remission rates, which provide important additional information about clinically significant improvements, have seldom been reported. In the current study, rates of response and remission after cognitive therapy and exposure therapy were evaluated. The study was based on a randomized controlled trial that treated patients with hypochondriasis (N = 75). The primary outcome measure was a clinician-administered structured interview for hypochondriasis. At posttreatment, response was found for 72.0% and remission for 45.3% of the patients. At 12-month follow-up, the response rate was 68.0%, and the remission rate was 54.7%. No significant differences in the frequency of response/remission were found between the cognitive therapy and the exposure therapy groups. Patients' and therapists' perspectives of clinical improvement corresponded with remission rather than response rates. Improvement rates were compared with those of other mental disorders, and implications for the treatment of hypochondriasis were discussed.

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