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Pediatric Hypochondriasis Follow-up

  • Author: Maria Sandra Cely-Serrano, MD; Chief Editor: Caroly Pataki, MD  more...
 
Updated: Mar 19, 2015
 

Further Outpatient Care

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  • See Medical Care for information about ongoing treatment in patients with hypochondriasis.
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Complications

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  • The primary health care provider may overlook an actual medical illness present in an individual with a somatoform disorder because of their history of unfounded symptoms.
  • Complications may result from invasive testing and multiple evaluations employed in the search for the cause of the symptoms. Patients also incur unnecessary hospitalizations, diagnostic tests, medication trials, and surgical procedures.
  • Dependency on pain relievers or sedatives may develop.
  • A poor relationship with the health care provider or evaluation by many providers seems to worsen hypochondriasis.
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Prognosis

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  • People with somatoform disorders rarely acknowledge that their illness has a psychological component and usually reject mental health treatment.
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Patient Education

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  • Mental health screening for children and adolescents with persistent reports of headaches, stomachaches, or musculoskeletal pains helps identify and manage somatoform disorders.
  • Psychoeducation always helps manage cases of somatoform disorders. The cost-effectiveness of educational approaches makes them a first-line intervention.
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Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Maria Sandra Cely-Serrano, MD Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician, Center for Child Development, Florida Hospital

Maria Sandra Cely-Serrano, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Mary L Windle, PharmD Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Caroly Pataki, MD Health Sciences Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine

Caroly Pataki, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, New York Academy of Sciences, Physicians for Social Responsibility

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Angelo P Giardino, MD, MPH, PhD Professor and Section Head, Academic General Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine; Senior Vice President and Chief Quality Officer, Texas Children’s Hospital

Angelo P Giardino, MD, MPH, PhD is a member of the following medical societies: Academic Pediatric Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, Harris County Medical Society, International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, Ray E Helfer Society

Disclosure: Received grant/research funds from Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Integrated Community Systems for CSHCN Grant for other; Received advisory board from Baxter Healthcare Corporation for board membership.

Acknowledgements

Anna Maria Wilms Floet, MD Assistant Professor, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Behavior and Developmental, University of Maryland School of Medicine

Anna Maria Wilms Floet, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics and Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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