Outcome predictors

Follow-up studies of hypochondriacal medical outpatients have found that a greater initial severity is associated with a less favourable outcome. More severe hypochondriacal symptoms and, in one study, shorter duration predicted a failure to remit.(6 7,72) In two of these studies, failure to remit was predicted by psychiatric comorbidity. These results are consistent with earlier studies showing that, while demographic variables are unimportant, longer duration of illness, psychiatric comorbidity, stressful life events, and lack of serious medical comorbidity are unfavourable prognostic indicators.

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