The BMJ is an international peer reviewed medical journal and a fully “online first” publication. The BMJ’s vision is to be the world’s most influential and widely read medical journal. Our mission is to lead the debate on health and to engage, inform, and stimulate doctors, researchers, and other health professionals in ways that will improve outcomes for patients. We aim to help doctors to make better decisions.
Manage episode 292991019 series 1426075
In general practice, doctors commonly see patients who are experiencing varying degrees of health anxiety, which can be difficult to navigate. GPs often want to offer reassurance, but reassurance can be like a drug to these patients: the more reassurance they receive, the more they need. In this week’s episode, we discuss how new technology which allows patients to check symptoms at home (such as pulse oximeters) may increase anxiety levels, and how our stock phrase “keep an eye on it” may be the worst thing we could say to patients with health anxiety. We also talk about the therapeutic value of a GP visit, and the importance of letting anxious patients know that all of their symptoms – physical and mental – will be taken seriously. Our guests; Guy Edwards is a patient who developed health anxiety around five years ago. Helen Tyrer is a former GP, a senior research fellow at Imperial College London and is the author of ‘Tackling Health Anxiety: A CBT Handbook’. Peter Tyrer is a professor of Community Psychiatry in the Centre for Mental Health in the Division of Experimental Medicine at Imperial College London. Reading list; https://www.bmj.com/content/364/bmj.l774