Pregnancy-specific health anxiety: symptom or diagnosis?

Amy Rathbone, Julie Prescott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Anxiety is an innate human response to situations that cause fear, worry or concern. One such type is health anxiety. Health anxiety is a term derived from hypochondriasis and divided into two disorders: illness anxiety disorder and somatic symptom disorder. Symptoms can range from mild-to-moderate expressions of worry to clinical diagnoses. Previous research has shown pregnancy-specific anxiety to be an autonomous anxiety disorder. When a woman conceives, immediate somatic changes are experienced, and although all pregnancies are different, these changes could cause either illness anxiety disorder or somatic symptom disorder. This review explores the possibility of pregnancy-specific health anxiety in greater detail.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Midwifery
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2019


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