We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Article |

Hypochondriasis and Somatization

Robert Kellner, MD
JAMA. 1987;258(19):2718-2722. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400190100036.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


Between 60% and 80% of healthy individuals experience somatic symptoms in any one week. About 10% to 20% of a random sample of people worry intermittently about illness. A substantial proportion of patients present physicians with somatic complaints for which no organic cause can be found. Patients who are hypochondriacal do not understand the benign nature of functional somatic symptoms and interpret these as evidence of disease. Hypochondriacal concerns range from common short-lived worries to persistent and distressing fears or convictions of having a disease. Hypochondriasis can be secondary to other psychiatric disorders (eg, melancholia or panic disorder), and hypochondriacal attitudes remit when the primary disorder is successfully treated. Patients with primary hypochondriasis are also anxious or depressed, but the fear of disease, or the false belief of having a disease, persists and is the most important feature of their psychopathology. There are substantial differences among hypochondriacal patients in their personalities and psychopathologies. Psychotherapy as well as psychotropic drugs are effective in the treatment of functional somatic symptoms. There are no adequate controlled studies on the value of psychotherapy in hypochondriasis; the recommended guidelines are based on uncontrolled studies of hypochondriasis and on controlled studies of the psychotherapy in similar disorders. The prognosis of functional somatic symptoms as well as that of hypochondriasis is good in a substantial proportion of patients.

(JAMA 1987;258:2718-2722)


Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?




Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

0 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.