Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Illness Anxiety Disorder

  • Ana MillsEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_9185


Health anxiety; Hypochondriasis


Illness anxiety disorder (IAD) is defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Ed. (DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association 2013) as a mental disorder characterized by excessive preoccupation with having or acquiring a serious medical illness despite the presence of no or only mild symptoms. Illness preoccupation is accompanied by elevated anxiety and excessive health-related behaviors. IAD may be specified as care-seeking subtype or care-avoidant subtype.


IAD is a new diagnostic label and is classified in the Somatic Symptom and Related Disorders chapter. IAD may apply to conditions previously diagnosed as hypochondriasis or somatoform disorder.

Current Knowledge

Clinical Presentation

IAD is thought to develop from the misattribution of normal bodily sensations (e.g., flatulence) or minor symptoms (e.g., mild headache). The medical significance of benign or minor discomforts are exaggerated...

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References and Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA