This webinar will focus on the latest understanding of the nature, assessment and treatment of health anxiety and how to help people with health anxiety.

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Understanding and Managing Health Anxiety

Most people worry about their health at some point, but for 5% of Australians, anxiety about health can become debilitating. People with health anxiety experience disabling, often uncontrollable fears about getting sick or becoming sick. They may pay excessive attention to their body, scanning and checking their body for signs and symptoms of illness, google their symptoms a lot or seek excessive reassurance from health professionals, and loved ones about their health. Health anxiety can be experienced by people with and without diagnosed medical conditions, and for some, can persist even after getting the ‘all-clear’ or negative tests results from doctors. This webinar will help to explain when normal health concerns tip over to a serious mental health problem, and some practical tools and resources to help overcome health anxiety.

Learning outcomes:

  • Outline the symptoms and key features of health anxiety
  • Outline recent changes to the diagnosis of health anxiety
  • Describe some of the key psychological processes that underpin health anxiety
  • Identify some helpful assessment tools for health anxiety
  • Identify strategies that can help people with health anxiety, including online tools and resources

The webinar series

The webinar series examines some of the online mental health treatment programs that GPs need to know about, focusing on evidence-based programs that have been developed in Australia. The evidence around the efficacy and usefulness of different programs will be discussed along with practical aspects of using the programs.

Summary:

  • e-Mental Health programs are a useful adjunct to mental health treatment in primary care
  • there is good evidence that patient outcomes improve with the use of e-Mental Health programs
  • a variety of locally-developed e-Mental Health programs are available
  • GPs need to be familiar with the programs their patients are using and be able to recommend the use of these programs appropriately.

Audience

GPs and GP registrars, psychologists and allied mental health practitioners, in fact any health professional with an interest in improving outcomes for patients with mental health conditions.

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