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Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 31, Issue 6, pp 871–883 | Cite as

The Short Health Anxiety Inventory: Psychometric Properties and Construct Validity in a Non-clinical Sample

  • Jonathan S. Abramowitz
  • Brett J. Deacon
  • David P. Valentiner
Original Article

Abstract

Contemporary conceptualizations of hypochondriasis (HC) as severe health anxiety have led to the development of cognitive-behavioral approaches to understanding, assessing, and treating this problem. The Short Health Anxiety Inventory (SHAI) is a new instrument that measures cognitive factors associated with HC. In the present study, we examined the psychometric properties and factor structure of the SHAI in a large sample of medically healthy university students. We also examined the scale’s convergent, divergent, and predictive validity. Results indicated that the SHAI has good psychometric properties and contains three factors that assess the perceived likelihood and perceived severity of becoming ill, and body vigilance. Facets of health anxiety uniquely predicted increased safety-seeking behavior and medical utilization, behaviors that are commonly observed in HC. Results are discussed in terms of the cognitive-behavioral model of HC.

Keywords

Health anxiety Hypochondriasis Anxiety Cognitive-behavioral model 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan S. Abramowitz
    • 1
  • Brett J. Deacon
    • 2
  • David P. Valentiner
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WyomingLaramieUSA
  3. 3.Psychology DepartmentNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA

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