Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 38, Issue 5, pp 541–550 | Cite as

Metacognitive Therapy in the Treatment of Hypochondriasis: A Systematic Case Series

  • Robin Bailey
  • Adrian Wells
Original Article


Hypochondriasis is a debilitating condition which can have profound psychological and functional effects. The most effective psychological treatments are cognitive and behavioural therapies. However, the degree of improvement across these treatments is variable, often with modest recovery and a high dropout rate. The aim of this study was to provide a preliminary investigation of effects associated with metacognitive therapy (MCT) applied to DSM-IV hypochondriasis. Four consecutively referred patients were treated using established A–B single case series methodology. Following MCT all patients demonstrated large and clinically meaningful improvements in specific hypochondriacal symptoms and more general negative affect measures. Treatment gains were maintained at 6-month follow-up. Substantial changes were also observed in metacognitive beliefs. Overall this case series provides preliminary evidence that MCT can be applied to hypochondriasis and it supports a move towards a more definitive evaluation of the treatment in this group.


Hypochondriasis Metacognitive therapy Case series 



The data have been presented at the 2nd International Conference of Metacognitive Therapy, Manchester, UK, 2013. The study did not receive external funding.

Conflict of Interest

Robin Bailey and Adrian Wells declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.

Animal Rights

No animal studies were carried out by the authors for this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Clinical PsychologyUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK
  2. 2.School of Health, HA250University of Central LancashirePreston, LancashireUK

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