The worried patient: Clinical management of the patient with hypochondriasis

Thomas Wise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The author discusses the importance of accurately identifying patients with hypochondriasis, especially in the current cost-conscious healthcare environment. Such patients frequently overuse clinical and laboratory services, especially when not correctly diagnosed. The author discusses three different approaches to the diagnosis and management of the somatizing patient: naive realism; categorical labeling (i.e., the DSM-IV approach) which includes a summary of the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria, prevalence, onset, predisposing factors, and differential diagnosis; and dimensional understanding of illness worry. The second half of the article focuses on evaluation and treatment considerations and includes a discussion of both psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacologic treatment strategies for the patient with hypochondriasis. Clinical case example are given throughout to illustrate the points being made.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-231
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Antidepressants
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Hypochondriasis
  • Somatization
  • Somatoform disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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