liu.seSearch for publications in DiVA
Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Personality Change following Internet-Based Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Severe Health Anxiety
Karolinska Institute, Sweden; Karolinska Institute, Sweden; Karolinska Institute, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Karolinska Institute, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4753-6745
Karolinska Institute, Sweden.
Karolinska Institute, Sweden.
Show others and affiliations
2014 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 9, no 12, e113871- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Personality traits have traditionally been viewed as stable, but recent studies suggest that they could be affected through psychological treatment. Internet-based cognitive behavior therapy (ICBT) for severe health anxiety (DSM-IV hypochondriasis) has been shown to be effective in reducing health anxiety, but its effect on measures of personality traits has not been investigated. The main aim of this study was to investigate the impact of ICBT on personality traits in the three broad dimensions -neuroticism, extraversion and aggression. We hypothesized that participants in ICBT would reduce their level of neuroticism compared to controls that did not receive the active treatment. No specific predictions were made regarding extraversion and aggression. Data from a randomized controlled trial were used in which participants were allocated to 12 weeks of ICBT (n=40) or to a basic attention control condition (n=41). Personality traits were assessed with the Swedish Universities Scales of Personality and the primary outcome of health anxiety was the Health Anxiety Inventory. There was a significant interaction effect of group and time on neuroticism-related scales, indicating larger pre-to post-treatment reductions in the Internet-based CBT group compared to the control condition. Analyses at 6-month follow-up showed that changes were stable. Traits relating to extraversion and aggression were largely unchanged. This study is the first to demonstrate that a brief ICBT intervention for severe health anxiety causes long-term changes in measures of personality traits related to neuroticism. The treatment thus has a broader impact than just reducing health anxiety.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Public Library of Science , 2014. Vol. 9, no 12, e113871- p.
National Category
Basic Medicine
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-113784DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0113871ISI: 000347114900091PubMedID: 25437150OAI: diva2:785153

Funding Agencies|Stockholm County council; Karolinska Institutet

Available from: 2015-02-02 Created: 2015-01-30 Last updated: 2015-02-24

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(466 kB)226 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 466 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Other links

Publisher's full textPubMed

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Andersson, Gerhard
By organisation
PsychologyFaculty of Arts and Sciences
In the same journal
Basic Medicine

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 226 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 203 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link