Recent insights into cyberchondria

Springer (part of Springer Nature)
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Current Psychiatry Reports, 2020, 22, (11)
Issue Date:
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PURPOSE OF REVIEW:The construct of cyberchondria was introduced relatively recently. This article aims to review the conceptualization, theoretical basis and correlates of cyberchondria, as well as its prevention and management. RECENT FINDINGS:Although there is no consensus, most definitions of cyberchondria emphasize online health research associated with heightened distress or anxiety. The two theoretical models of cyberchondria involve reassurance seeking and specific metacognitive beliefs. Cyberchondria has relationships with health anxiety, problematic Internet use and symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, with public health implications pertaining to functional impairment and altered healthcare utilization. Suggestions about prevention and management of cyberchondria have been put forward, but not tested yet. Research interest in cyberchondria has steadily increased. It is uncertain whether cyberchondria can be considered a distinct entity. Future research should aim to clarify the conceptual status of cyberchondria, quantify its impact and develop evidence-based approaches for a better control of cyberchondria.
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