Health anxiety and its relationship to disability and service use

Findings from a large epidemiological survey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To explore the contribution of health anxiety to disability and use of mental health and medical services, independently of co-occurring mental and physical conditions. Methods: Data from the Australian National Survey of Mental Health andWellbeing 2007 were analyzed (n = 8841). Participants were aged 16 to 85 years (mean [standard deviation] = 46.3 [19.0] years) and 54% were women. Results: Health anxiety accounted independently for high disability and service use. People with health anxiety were more likely to use both mental health (for psychiatrists: odds ratio [OR] = 2.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.2-3.5; for psychologists: OR = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.2-3.3) and specialist medical services (OR = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.2-2.3) than people without health anxiety. However, they were not high-frequency attenders to specialist mental health services (OR = 1.6 [95% CI = 0.9-3.0] and OR = 1.3 [95% CI = 0.6-2.9]) compared with people with other mental disorders (OR = 11.7 [95% CI = 4.3-31.8] and OR = 29.5 [95% CI = 13.5-64.6] for psychiatrists and psychologists, respectively). People with health anxiety were likely to be high-frequency attenders to general practice (OR = 2.0, 95% CI = 1.4-2.8) and specialist medical services (OR = 2.4, 95% CI = 1.7-3.6). Conclusions: It is important to recognize and treat health anxiety, even when coexisting with other conditions, to prevent high disability burden and excessive service use. The cross-sectional design and self-reported outcomes may have resulted in overestimation of the associations. Future work is needed on actual service use using reviews of medical records.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-25
Number of pages13
JournalPsychosomatic Medicine
Volume78
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Comorbidity
  • Disability
  • Epidemiology
  • Health anxiety
  • Service use

Cite this

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title = "Health anxiety and its relationship to disability and service use: Findings from a large epidemiological survey",
abstract = "Objective: To explore the contribution of health anxiety to disability and use of mental health and medical services, independently of co-occurring mental and physical conditions. Methods: Data from the Australian National Survey of Mental Health andWellbeing 2007 were analyzed (n = 8841). Participants were aged 16 to 85 years (mean [standard deviation] = 46.3 [19.0] years) and 54{\%} were women. Results: Health anxiety accounted independently for high disability and service use. People with health anxiety were more likely to use both mental health (for psychiatrists: odds ratio [OR] = 2.1, 95{\%} confidence interval [CI] = 1.2-3.5; for psychologists: OR = 1.9, 95{\%} CI = 1.2-3.3) and specialist medical services (OR = 1.7, 95{\%} CI = 1.2-2.3) than people without health anxiety. However, they were not high-frequency attenders to specialist mental health services (OR = 1.6 [95{\%} CI = 0.9-3.0] and OR = 1.3 [95{\%} CI = 0.6-2.9]) compared with people with other mental disorders (OR = 11.7 [95{\%} CI = 4.3-31.8] and OR = 29.5 [95{\%} CI = 13.5-64.6] for psychiatrists and psychologists, respectively). People with health anxiety were likely to be high-frequency attenders to general practice (OR = 2.0, 95{\%} CI = 1.4-2.8) and specialist medical services (OR = 2.4, 95{\%} CI = 1.7-3.6). Conclusions: It is important to recognize and treat health anxiety, even when coexisting with other conditions, to prevent high disability burden and excessive service use. The cross-sectional design and self-reported outcomes may have resulted in overestimation of the associations. Future work is needed on actual service use using reviews of medical records.",
keywords = "Comorbidity, Disability, Epidemiology, Health anxiety, Service use",
author = "Irene Bobevski and Clarke, {David M} and Graham Meadows",
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pages = "13--25",
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Health anxiety and its relationship to disability and service use : Findings from a large epidemiological survey. / Bobevski, Irene; Clarke, David M; Meadows, Graham.

In: Psychosomatic Medicine, Vol. 78, No. 1, 2016, p. 13-25.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Health anxiety and its relationship to disability and service use

T2 - Findings from a large epidemiological survey

AU - Bobevski, Irene

AU - Clarke, David M

AU - Meadows, Graham

PY - 2016

Y1 - 2016

N2 - Objective: To explore the contribution of health anxiety to disability and use of mental health and medical services, independently of co-occurring mental and physical conditions. Methods: Data from the Australian National Survey of Mental Health andWellbeing 2007 were analyzed (n = 8841). Participants were aged 16 to 85 years (mean [standard deviation] = 46.3 [19.0] years) and 54% were women. Results: Health anxiety accounted independently for high disability and service use. People with health anxiety were more likely to use both mental health (for psychiatrists: odds ratio [OR] = 2.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.2-3.5; for psychologists: OR = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.2-3.3) and specialist medical services (OR = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.2-2.3) than people without health anxiety. However, they were not high-frequency attenders to specialist mental health services (OR = 1.6 [95% CI = 0.9-3.0] and OR = 1.3 [95% CI = 0.6-2.9]) compared with people with other mental disorders (OR = 11.7 [95% CI = 4.3-31.8] and OR = 29.5 [95% CI = 13.5-64.6] for psychiatrists and psychologists, respectively). People with health anxiety were likely to be high-frequency attenders to general practice (OR = 2.0, 95% CI = 1.4-2.8) and specialist medical services (OR = 2.4, 95% CI = 1.7-3.6). Conclusions: It is important to recognize and treat health anxiety, even when coexisting with other conditions, to prevent high disability burden and excessive service use. The cross-sectional design and self-reported outcomes may have resulted in overestimation of the associations. Future work is needed on actual service use using reviews of medical records.

AB - Objective: To explore the contribution of health anxiety to disability and use of mental health and medical services, independently of co-occurring mental and physical conditions. Methods: Data from the Australian National Survey of Mental Health andWellbeing 2007 were analyzed (n = 8841). Participants were aged 16 to 85 years (mean [standard deviation] = 46.3 [19.0] years) and 54% were women. Results: Health anxiety accounted independently for high disability and service use. People with health anxiety were more likely to use both mental health (for psychiatrists: odds ratio [OR] = 2.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.2-3.5; for psychologists: OR = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.2-3.3) and specialist medical services (OR = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.2-2.3) than people without health anxiety. However, they were not high-frequency attenders to specialist mental health services (OR = 1.6 [95% CI = 0.9-3.0] and OR = 1.3 [95% CI = 0.6-2.9]) compared with people with other mental disorders (OR = 11.7 [95% CI = 4.3-31.8] and OR = 29.5 [95% CI = 13.5-64.6] for psychiatrists and psychologists, respectively). People with health anxiety were likely to be high-frequency attenders to general practice (OR = 2.0, 95% CI = 1.4-2.8) and specialist medical services (OR = 2.4, 95% CI = 1.7-3.6). Conclusions: It is important to recognize and treat health anxiety, even when coexisting with other conditions, to prevent high disability burden and excessive service use. The cross-sectional design and self-reported outcomes may have resulted in overestimation of the associations. Future work is needed on actual service use using reviews of medical records.

KW - Comorbidity

KW - Disability

KW - Epidemiology

KW - Health anxiety

KW - Service use

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U2 - 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000252

DO - 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000252

M3 - Review Article

VL - 78

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JO - Psychosomatic Medicine

JF - Psychosomatic Medicine

SN - 0033-3174

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