The Assessment of Cyberchondria: Instruments for Assessing Problematic Online Health-Related Research

Abstract

Purpose of Review

Cyberchondria is a problematic, i.e. distressing or anxiety-increasing pattern of online health information seeking. The development of psychometrically sound instruments for the assessment of cyberchondria is imperative for better understanding of this construct. The aim of the present article is to provide a systematic literature review of cyberchondria instruments.

Recent Findings

Although several measures of cyberchondria have been developed, the Cyberchondria Severity Scale (CSS) has been used most often. The CSS is based on a solid theoretical framework, with very good to excellent reliability and validity. It has been translated into several languages. Modifications of the original version of the CSS have been introduced to refine its conceptual foundation and improve its utility by making it shorter.

Summary

Further improvement of the CSS may boost the quality of cyberchondria research. There remains a need to test the theoretical underpinnings of the CSS and consider alternative models of cyberchondria.

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Correspondence to Vladan Starcevic.

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Starcevic, V., Berle, D., Arnáez, S. et al. The Assessment of Cyberchondria: Instruments for Assessing Problematic Online Health-Related Research. Curr Addict Rep 7, 149–165 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40429-020-00308-w

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Keywords

  • Cyberchondria
  • Online health information seeking
  • Online health research
  • Assessment
  • Measurement
  • Cyberchondria Severity Scale