Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for Health Anxiety (Hypochondriasis): Rationale, Implementation and Case Illustration.
Surawy C., McManus F., Muse K., Williams JM.
Recent research has shown that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) could be a useful alternative approach to the treatment of health anxiety and deserves further investigation. In this paper, we outline the rationale for using MBCT in the treatment of this condition, namely its hypothesised impact on the underlying mechanisms which maintain health anxiety, such as rumination and avoidance, hypervigilance to body sensations and misinterpretation of such sensations. We also describe some of the adaptations which were made to the MBCT protocol for recurrent depression in this trial and discuss the rationale for these adaptations. We use a case example from the trial to illustrate how MBCT was implemented and outline the experience of one of the participants who took part in an 8-week MBCT course. Finally, we detail some of the more general experiences of participants and discuss the advantages and possible limitations of this approach for this population, as well as considering what might be useful avenues to explore in future research.