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Ann Boston

Doctor of Clinical Psychology, (Doctor of Clinical Psychology)
Study Completed: 2013
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Health anxiety and older adults: A cross sectional study comparing predictors of health anxiety between an older and younger cohort

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Health anxiety is a common experience, ranging from adaptive concerns about illness to debilitating worry about health. However, understanding of older adults’ health anxiety is limited. Ms Boston’s study provided new evidence of similarities and differences between older and younger cohorts’ health anxiety. Attention to and beliefs about bodily sensations were important factors in health anxiety experienced by both groups. Current worry rather than physical illness predicted older adults’ health anxiety. This relationship was reversed for the younger group. Despite greater physical health problems, older adults reported lower health anxiety than younger adults. A secondary study supported the usefulness of the health anxiety measures for older adults. These findings will contribute to the understanding, assessment, and treatment of older adults’ health anxiety.

Associate Professor Paul Merrick
Dr Mei Wah Williams

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