Panic disorder and hypochondriacal fears and beliefs. Academic Article uri icon


  • The purpose of this study was to examine correlates of hypochondriacal fears and beliefs in patients with panic disorder (PD) (n = 54). They were evaluated using the structured diagnostic interviews for axis I and axis II disorders (SCID-UP-R and SCID-II). They were administered the Illness Attitudes Scales (IAS) as a measure of hypochondriacal fears and beliefs, the Hopkins Symptom Checklist 90 (HSCL), and the Fear Questionnaire (FQ). One half of the patients rated themselves as having substantial hypochondriacal fears and beliefs. The sample was divided into groups of patients seeking predominantly treatment or relief from symptoms (treatment-oriented), and those who were searching for a cause of their illness (explanation-seeking): the latter had significantly more hypochondriacal concerns. Avoidant, histrionic, and borderline personalities were more common in the hypochondriacal group. The results of several analyses suggest that patients with PD who are also agoraphobic, fear physical disease more and have more false beliefs of having a disease than PD patients without agoraphobia.

publication date

  • February 1992