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Dimensions of Hypochondriasis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 January 2018

I. Pilowsky*
Department of Psychiatry, University of Sheffield; Department of Psychiatry, University of Sydney, Australia


The confusion over the definition and nosological status of hypochondriasis has been stressed by many authors. Jelliffe (1931) refers to it as “a strange child in the psychopathological family”, and Macalpine (1953) uses the phrase “a stepchild in psychiatry proper”. It has been described in terms of the disturbed attitude to health and to doctors and also in terms of the symptoms presented. Factor analysis is a method well-suited to the examination of such a problem and has been used to investigate psychiatric syndromes in order to dissect out the symptom clusters which have been subsumed under a single blanket term. (Hamilton, 1960, Friedman, 1964; Overall, 1962).

Research Article
Copyright © Royal College of Psychiatrists, 1967 

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