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Case Reports in Psychiatry
Volume 2016, Article ID 6073598, 3 pages
Case Report

A Recommendation for the Management of Illness Anxiety Disorder Patients Abusing the Health Care System

College of Medicine, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Received 26 February 2016; Accepted 8 May 2016

Academic Editor: Daisuke Matsuzawa

Copyright © 2016 Mohammad Almalki et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Illness anxiety disorder (IAD) entails a preoccupation with having a serious, undiagnosed illness in which somatic symptoms are, if present, mild in intensity (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Case Report. This is a case of seventy-three-year-old Saudi man who started visiting the primary health care center around twenty-five years ago. With concerns of having cancer, the patient continuously visited the hospital, costing over $170,000. Throughout this period, the patient has been exposed to extensive unnecessary imaging studies and laboratory tests that have effects on his life in all aspects with such concerns. Five years ago, a family doctor has put an end to that by directing the patient to the right path. The doctor made several actions; most importantly, he directed the patient to a cognitive behavioral therapy which significantly improved a range of hypochondriacal beliefs and attitudes. This patient’s case demonstrates the fundamental importance of a proper health system that limits such patients from abusing the health system and depleting the medical resources. Moreover, this case emphasizes the important role of the family physician who can be the first physician to encounter such patients. Thus, proper understanding of the nature of such disorder is a key element for better diagnosis and management.