Hypochondriacal psychoses: A long-term follow-up

Authors

  • S. Opjordsmoen

    Corresponding author
    1. Psychiatric Clinic (Head: Professor E. Kringlen), Gaustad Hospital (Head: Professor N. Retterstøl) and (Head: P. Vaglum) Department of Behavioural Sciences in Medicine University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
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Stein Opjordsmoen, M.D. Research Fellow Lecturer Department of Behavioural Sciences in Medicine Post Box 1111 Blindern 0317 Oslo 3 Norway

Abstract

ABSTRACT— From a large series of delusional subjects 23 patients demonstrated hypochondriacal delusions as the main delusion during the long-term course of approximately 30 years. An extensive study of these cases reveals that the majority had abnormal premorbid personality, especially somatization, paranoid and/or avoidant traits. Previous and/or precipitating somatic illnesses, if present, were not very serious. The hypochondriacal preoccupation diminished in the long term, but the overall prognosis varied, as the patients did not belong to a uniform diagnostic category. Implications for the clinician in diagnosing and treating are discussed, and the importance of early detection of correct diagnostic category is stressed.

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