, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 618-626
Date: 13 Oct 2012

The German Version of the H-YBOCS for the Assessment of Hypochondriacal Cognitions and Behaviors: Development, Reliability and Validity

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Clinician-administered interviews are essential for assessing the efficacy of treatment studies and constitute an important instrument for clinical practice. Recently, the Yale–Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale was adapted for the dimensional assessment of hypochondriacal characteristics (H-YBOCS) and yielded promising results.


This study aimed to develop and validate a German version of the H-YBOCS.


Altogether, 101 patients with hypochondriasis and 49 patients with anxiety disorders were diagnosed using the German version of the H-YBOCS. Well-established questionnaires for assessing hypochondriacal characteristics and the general psychopathology were administered as well.


Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses suggested a three-factor structure for the German version of the H-YBOCS (cognitive factor, behavioral factor, and insight factor). The current version of H-YBOCS demonstrated high internal consistency (α = 0.93) and inter-rater reliability (ICC = .97). Convergent and discriminant validity were also confirmed by high correlations with questionnaires such as the Illness Attitudes Scales (r = 0.81) and non-significant correlations with the Brief Symptom Inventory (r = 0.12). The H-YBOCS discriminated between patients with hypochondriasis and those with anxiety disorder, with high sensitivity (0.94) and specificity (0.78).


The German version of the H-YBOCS proved to be a highly effective interview instrument for the dimensional assessment of hypochondriacal characteristics and therefore constitutes an important contribution to scientific research and clinical practice.