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ERIC Number: EJ1007444
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jun
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-0022-006X
Specificity and Modifiability of Cognitive Biases in Hypochondriasis
Gropalis, Maria; Bleichhardt, Gaby; Hiller, Wolfgang; Witthoft, Michael
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, v81 n3 p558-565 Jun 2013
Objective: According to cognitive-behavioral models of hypochondriasis (HYP), biased attentional and memory processes related to health threat stimuli are crucial for the development and maintenance of severe health anxiety. Little is known about the specificity, temporal stability, and modifiability of these biases via psychotherapy. Method: In an emotional Stroop and subsequent recognition task, the authors compared attention and memory processes for health-related words (illnesses, bodily complaints, and panic-related words) in patients with HYP (n = 32), other somatoform disorders (SFD; n = 27), and panic disorder (PD; n = 25). A control group consisted of 31 healthy participants (CG). All patients were reexamined after 4 months of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Results: Patients with HYP showed a significant attentional bias toward all 3 target word categories. Evidence for a specific bias was found only for the PD group. General recognition performance for health threat and neutral words was best in the HYP group. After therapy, attentional bias had clearly decreased in the HYP and SFD patients. Conclusions: Patients with HYP can be characterized by attentional bias and more elaborate verbal processing. These irregularities tend to disappear after psychotherapy. (Contains 7 tables, 1 figure, and 20 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany