BACKGROUND: In DSM-5 two new diagnoses, somatic symptom disorder (SSD) and illness anxiety disorder (IAD), have replaced DSM-IV hypochondriasis. There are no previous treatment studies for these disorders. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) delivered as therapist-guided or unguided internet treatment or as unguided bibliotherapy could be used to increase treatment accessibility.
AIMS: To investigate the effect of CBT delivered as guided internet treatment (ICBT), unguided internet treatment (U-ICBT) and as unguided bibliotherapy.
METHOD: A randomised controlled trial (RCT) where participants (n = 132) with a diagnosis of SSD or IAD were randomised to ICBT, U-ICBT, bibliotherapy or to a control condition on a waiting list (trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT01966705).
RESULTS: Compared with the control condition, all three treatment groups made large and significant improvements on the primary outcome Health Anxiety Inventory (between-group d at post-treatment was 0.80-1.27).
CONCLUSIONS: ICBT, U-ICBT and bibliotherapy can be highly effective in the treatment of SSD and IAD. This is the first study showing that these new DSM-5 disorders can be effectively treated.
2016. Vol. 209, no 5, 407-413 p.