Hypochondriasis, or excessive worry over ones health, is a psychiatric disorder that can affect every aspect of a persons life -- especially interpersonal relationships. University of Iowa researchers are finding ways to study the condition and how it affects relationships, including patient-doctor interaction.
Hypochondriasis involves preoccupation with a fear of having or developing a serious illness, despite lack of physical evidence of illness. It affects 4 to 9 percent of family practice or primary care outpatients, according to Russell Noyes, M.D., professor emeritus of psychiatry in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.
Noyes and co-investigator Scott Stuart, M.D., UI associate professor of psychiatry, studied the interpersonal model of hypochondriasis, which regards the condition as a care-eliciting behavior. By communicating their anxiety and distress over physical symptoms to other people, patients with hypochondriasis hope to obtain care and concern.
Becky Soglin | EurekAlert!
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