Background: Health anxiety is an important component of psychological adjustment to chronic medical conditions. However, it has been overlooked after heart transplantation. Objectives: To examine demographic, clinical, and psychological correlates of health anxiety in heart transplanted patients and to compare health anxiety between patients and a sample of matched controls from the general population. Methods: The study design was observational. Seventy-three cardiac recipients and 73 controls completed the Illness Attitude Scales and the Symptom Questionnaire. Patients' clinical parameters were collected. Results: Health anxiety was significantly associated with clinical variables suggesting a worse outcome, especially a higher NYHA class and occurrence of cancer. Compared to controls, patients had significantly more "hypochondriacal responses" (32.9% vs. 16.4%), an index of clinically significant health anxiety. Conclusions: Health anxiety affects a significant subset of heart transplanted patients and deserves a thorough assessment. Cardiologists' and nurses' specific communication skills and psychological treatment strategies may be necessary.

Manifestations of health anxiety in patients with heart transplant

Sirri Laura
Primo
;
Tossani Eliana;Potena Luciano;Masetti Marco;Grandi Silvana
2020

Abstract

Background: Health anxiety is an important component of psychological adjustment to chronic medical conditions. However, it has been overlooked after heart transplantation. Objectives: To examine demographic, clinical, and psychological correlates of health anxiety in heart transplanted patients and to compare health anxiety between patients and a sample of matched controls from the general population. Methods: The study design was observational. Seventy-three cardiac recipients and 73 controls completed the Illness Attitude Scales and the Symptom Questionnaire. Patients' clinical parameters were collected. Results: Health anxiety was significantly associated with clinical variables suggesting a worse outcome, especially a higher NYHA class and occurrence of cancer. Compared to controls, patients had significantly more "hypochondriacal responses" (32.9% vs. 16.4%), an index of clinically significant health anxiety. Conclusions: Health anxiety affects a significant subset of heart transplanted patients and deserves a thorough assessment. Cardiologists' and nurses' specific communication skills and psychological treatment strategies may be necessary.
Sirri Laura, Tossani Eliana, Potena Luciano, Masetti Marco, Grandi Silvana
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/789927
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