Original Article: Illness anxiety disorder and its relationship with social health in the elderly, Isfahan, Iran


1 Department of Community and Family Medicine, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences

2 Student Research Committee, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: The present study investigated the prevalence of illness anxiety disorder and its relationship with social health in the elderly population. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 400 elderly people in Isfahan referred to the educational health service in 2020. In addition to demographic characteristics, they answered the 36-item Evans hypochondriasis questionnaire and the 28-item social health questionnaire. Results: Four hundred elderly participants with a mean age of 68.1 ± 6.6 (range: 60–89) were included in the study. One hundred and ninety-nine (49.8%) were female and 201 (50.3%) were male. Only 24.3% of the geriatrics were in the healthy group and 21.2% in the borderline category. Seventy-two of the geriatric population (18%) had poor social health and 299 of this population (74.8%) had moderate social health, and the social health status of 29 elderlies (7.3%) was favorable. There was an inverse relationship between hypochondriasis score and total social health score and its dimensions (P < 0.05). Conclusion: High prevalence of hypochondriasis was observed in the geriatrics compared to global studies. Most of the elderly population had moderate social health. Gender and education do not affect hypochondriasis and social health in the elderly. People with higher social health scores were clearly less likely to get hypochondriasis. Therefore, by improving the various dimensions of social health of the geriatrics, we can help reduce the prevalence of hypochondriasis in this age group.


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