Pediatric Illness Anxiety Disorder (Formerly Hypochondriasis) Follow-up

Updated: Jan 30, 2019
  • Author: Maria Sandra Cely-Serrano, MD; Chief Editor: Caroly Pataki, MD  more...
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Follow-up

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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