Morbidity

Patients with hypochondriasis view their health as poor and have greater impairment in physical functioning and work performance than patients with comparable physical disease.(16,1Z> They also use more medical services; this includes the number of physicians seen, the number of visits, laboratory tests, medication taken, and hospital admissions. Even so, hypochondriacal patients are more likely than non-hypochondriacal patients to feel that their health problems have not been thoroughly evaluated or explained. (:!.Z>

Studies show that the diagnosis of hypochondriasis is almost never made by primary care physicians. (!8> However, physician recognition may be higher. For instance, Noyes et al.(U) reported that medical clinic physicians rated hypochondriacal patients higher on hypochondriasis and lower on the extent to which a disease explained the symptoms. Gureje et al.(19) found that more abridged hypochondriasis patients (those who did not refuse to accept medical reassurance) were identified as psychiatric cases than non-hypochondriacal patients.

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