Successful Treatment of Halitophobia with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: A Case Study

Abstract

Halitophobia is a condition characterized by an excessive preoccupation with the belief of having halitosis. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) was successfully used to treat a man in his 20 s who presented with important anxiety, avoidance and safety behaviours, isolation, and depressed mood. Progressive in-vivo exposure to fearful situations with the systematic prevention of avoidance and safety behaviours resulted in a significant improvement in the patient’s anxiety and depression levels. This case suggests that CBT techniques, usually performed in anxiety disorders and in obsessive–compulsive disorder, can be adapted to halitophobia.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Mrs. Asma Hammami for correcting the language of the paper.

Funding

This study was not funded by any source.

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Correspondence to Jihed Mrizak.

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All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the hospital and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments.

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Informed consent was obtained from the individual participating in the current study. Written consent for the release of the information was also obtained from the patient.

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Mrizak, J., Ouali, U., Arous, A. et al. Successful Treatment of Halitophobia with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: A Case Study. J Contemp Psychother 49, 119–125 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10879-018-9398-7

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Keywords

  • Halitophobia
  • Cognitive behaviour therapy
  • Case report
  • Treatment outcome
  • Anxiety