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Illness Anxiety Disorder: A Review of the Current Research and Future Directions.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: We review recent evidence on Illness Anxiety Disorder (IAD), including risk factors and precipitants, diagnostic classification, clinical characteristics of the disorder, and assessment and treatment in both children and adults.

RECENT FINDINGS: IAD places a substantial burden on both individuals and society. Despite its impact, understanding of the disorder is lacking and debates remain about whether IAD should be classified as an anxiety disorder and whether it is distinct from Somatic Symptom Disorder. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for IAD and there are multiple validated measures of health anxiety available. However, research on health anxiety in children and youth is limited. IAD is chronic, and debilitating, but when identified, it can be effectively treated with CBT. Research using DSM-5 IAD criteria is lacking, and more research is needed to better understand the disorder, particularly in children and youth.

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