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Maintaining Mechanisms of Health Anxiety: Current State of Knowledge

  • Chrysanthi Leonidou
  • Georgia Panayiotou
Chapter

Abstract

Severe health anxiety is the preoccupation that one has or will acquire a severe medical disease and impairs individual’s functioning in the psychological, social, professional, and other domains of daily life. This chapter briefly describes this category of symptomatology in terms of epidemiology, predispositional factors, and impact, and it focuses on reviewing the mechanisms that were linked to the maintenance of health anxiety, which stem from the cognitive-behavioral conceptualization and existing empirical evidence. In addition, this chapter introduces a mechanism that potentially buffers the impact of health anxiety on individual’s functioning and provides an overview of behavioral and cognitive approaches in therapy. Directions for future research in areas that warrant further investigation are also provided.

Keywords

Health anxiety Illness anxiety Cognitive-behavioral model Maintenance mechanisms Cognitive biases Interoceptive awareness Somatosensory amplification Emotion regulation Behavioral avoidance 

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CyprusNicosiaCyprus
  2. 2.Department of Psychology and Center for Applied NeuroscienceUniversity of CyprusNicosiaCyprus

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