Clinical study of illness anxiety disorder in medical outpatients
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B. J. Medical College & Civil Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
Sri Aurobindo Institute of Medical Sciences, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India
Submission date: 2017-06-20
Final revision date: 2017-08-16
Acceptance date: 2017-09-11
Publication date: 2017-12-18
Corresponding author
Sunayna pandey   

B. J. Medical College & Civil Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, c-109, Phase 2, new pg hostel, civil hospital campus, asarwa, 380016 Ahmedabad, India
Arch Psych Psych 2017;19(4):32-41
Aim of the study:
To find out the prevalence of illness anxiety disorder (hypochondriasis) in medical outpatients and the risk factors and psychiatric co morbidities associated with it.

Subject or material and methods:
400 consecutive medical outpatients were asked for socio demographic characteristics and risk factors associated with illness anxiety and were given Short Health anxiety inventory (SHAI). Psychiatric co-morbidities were assessed using Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (M.I.N.I). People who scored 18 or above in SHAI, the diagnosis of Illness anxiety disorder was confirmed by using DSM 5 criteria for illness anxiety disorder (IAD). The data was analyzed by using SPSS version 17, Chi square and t test.

The prevalence of IAD was 7%. Around 18% patients with IAD had positive family history for hypochondriasis. 32.1% of the patients had a history of abuse in the childhood. 71.4% of the patients had psychiatric co morbidities. 25% patients with IAD had co morbid depression and 28.6% had anxiety spectrum disorder.

The range of prevalence of hypochondriasis is 0.4 to 14% in various studies and it is more common in third and fourth decade. Significant risk factors include divorce, family histrory and history of abuse. 65-88% of patients with hypochondriasis have psychiatric comorbidities like depression and anxiety disorders. Managing psychiatric comorbidities and early treatment of both will lead to better prognosis.

The anxiety of having a serious medical illness is reasonably high in patients attending medical O.P.D. About three fourth of these patients had co morbid psychiatric condition, mostly depression and anxiety disorders.

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