What is Illness Anxiety Disorder? - Dr Jill Newby

What is Illness Anxiety Disorder?
Illness anxiety disorder is a psychological disorder characterised by excessive fears of illness. People with this condition tend to worry a lot about having or developing illnesses. Because of their fears, people with illness anxiety disorder perform behaviours including body checking, seeking reassurance, and googling their symptoms.

What is this research about?
Dr Jill Newby’s research on Illness Anxiety Disorder focuses on testing the cognitive behavioural model of health anxiety, and developing new treatments for the disorder. Her research focuses on a range of areas related to illness anxiety including understanding the factors that drive excessive googling, the impact of online symptom checkers on anxiety, and how and why people seek reassurance about their health.

Dr Newby also conducts research to evaluate new ways of treating illness anxiety disorder. She has developed an online cognitive behavioural therapy program for people with this condition, and is discovering new ways of targeting the negative thoughts and worries that people with illness anxiety disorder experience.

Publications relating to this research:

Sunderland, M., J.M. Newby, and G. Andrews, Health anxiety in Australia: prevalence, comorbidity, disability and service use. British Journal of Psychiatry, 2013. 202(1): p. 56-61.

Newby, J.M., et al., Pilot trial of a therapist-supported internet-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy program for health anxiety. Internet Interventions, 2016. 6: p. 71-79.


The Conversation: Health Check - How Do You Know If You're Obesessed With Your Health 


For more information about this research, contact Dr Jill Newby.