Cyberchondria and health anxiety in patients with fibromyalgia
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University of Bozok, Department of Psychiatry, Yozgat, Turkey
University of Binali Yıldırım, Department of Psychiatry, Erzincan, Turkey
Elazığ Fethi Sekin City Hospital, Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, Elazığ, Turkey
University of Malatya Turgut Özal, Department of Psychiatry, Malatya, Turkey
Submission date: 2022-02-07
Final revision date: 2022-05-07
Acceptance date: 2022-05-27
Online publication date: 2022-12-23
Publication date: 2022-12-16
Corresponding author
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University of Bozok, Department of Psychiatry, Yozgat, Turkey
Arch Psych Psych 2022;24(4):16-25
Aim of the study:
The purpose of the study is to investigate the cyberchondria attitudes, health anxiety and their correlation with each other in Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) patients.

Subject or material and methods:
68 patients diagnosed with FMS according to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 2010 diagnostic criteria and 68 healthy individuals with similar sociodemographic characteristics and meeting the study criteria were included in the study. Sociodemographic Data Form, Cyberchondria Severity Scale (CSS), Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), and Health Anxiety Inventory-Short Version (HAI) were administered to all participants.

The sub-dimensions of the CSS total, distress, excessiveness, reassurance, and mistrust of medical professional and the HAI body sub-dimension and total score of the patient group were found to be significantly higher than the scores of the control group (p<0.001). There is a significant positive correlation between HAI total score and FIQ score (p= 0.018) (r=.285). A positive and significant relationship was found between the CSS-total score and the HAI sub-dimensions and total score (p= 0.002, r=.377).

Our study shows that health anxiety and cyberchondria are high in patients with FMS and that disease severity and health anxiety increase in direct proportion. Due to these results, it may be wise to periodically check the cyberchondria and health anxiety levels of these patients and to include psychiatric view in the treatment of the patients.

Doctors can refer patients who have health concerns and who have comorbid psychiatric symptoms for psychoeducation, as well as protect patients from uncontrolled anxiety by referring them only to reliable and accurate online sites.

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