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A diary-based modification of symptom attributions in pathological health anxiety : effects on symptom report and cognitive biases

A diary-based modification of symptom attributions in pathological health anxiety : effects on symptom report and cognitive biases

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KERSTNER, Tobias, Michael WITTHÖFT, Daniela MIER, Carsten DIENER, Fred RIST, Josef BAILER, 2015. A diary-based modification of symptom attributions in pathological health anxiety : effects on symptom report and cognitive biases. In: Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 83(3), pp. 578-589. ISSN 0022-006X. eISSN 1939-2117. Available under: doi: 10.1037/a0039056

@article{Kerstner2015-06diary-45231, title={A diary-based modification of symptom attributions in pathological health anxiety : effects on symptom report and cognitive biases}, year={2015}, doi={10.1037/a0039056}, number={3}, volume={83}, issn={0022-006X}, journal={Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology}, pages={578--589}, author={Kerstner, Tobias and Witthöft, Michael and Mier, Daniela and Diener, Carsten and Rist, Fred and Bailer, Josef} }

Kerstner, Tobias Kerstner, Tobias 2019-02-27T10:52:36Z Diener, Carsten eng Rist, Fred Bailer, Josef Bailer, Josef Diener, Carsten 2015-06 Witthöft, Michael Rist, Fred 2019-02-27T10:52:36Z Mier, Daniela Mier, Daniela A diary-based modification of symptom attributions in pathological health anxiety : effects on symptom report and cognitive biases Objective: To examine whether a 2-week attribution modification training (AMT) changes symptom severity, emotional evaluation of health-threatening stimuli, and cognitive biases in pathological health anxiety. Method: We randomized 85 patients with pathological health anxiety into an electronic diary-based AMT group (AMTG; n = 42) and a control group without AMT (CG; n = 43). Self-report symptom measures, emotional evaluation, attentional bias, and memory bias toward symptom and illness words were assessed with an emotional Stroop task, a recognition task, and an emotional rating task for valence and arousal. Results: After the 2-week period, the AMTG compared with the CG reported lower symptoms of pathological health anxiety, F(1, 82) = 10.94, p< .01, η <sup>2<sub>p</sub></sup> = .12, rated symptom, F(1, 82) = 5.56, p = .02, η<sup>2<sub>p</sub></sup> = .06, and illness words, F(1, 82) = 4.13, p = .045, η<sup>2<sub>p</sub></sup> = .05, as less arousing, and revealed a smaller memory response bias toward symptom words in the recognition task F(1, 82) = 12.32, p< .01, η <sup>2<sub>p</sub></sup> = .13. However, no specific AMT effect was observed for the attentional bias. Conclusion: The results support the efficacy of a comparatively short cognitive intervention in pathological health anxiety as a possible add-on intervention to existing treatment approaches to reduce symptom severity, as well as abnormalities in health-related emotional evaluation and memory processes. Witthöft, Michael

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