Cyberchondria: Examining relations with problematic Internet use and metacognitive beliefs.
Fergus, TA and Spada, MM (2017). Cyberchondria: Examining relations with problematic Internet use and metacognitive beliefs. Clin Psychol Psychother. 1 (9).
|Authors||Fergus, TA and Spada, MM|
Cyberchondria refers to the repeated use of the Internet to search for health-related information, which leads to negative consequences. This two-part study provides the first known examination of how cyberchondria relates to (a) problematic Internet use and (b) metacognitive beliefs. Participants were U.S. community adults who reported using the Internet to search for health-related information (Study 1: N = 337, Study 2: N = 260). In Study 1, cyberchondria shared a strong association with problematic Internet use, and that association was unaccounted for by age, gender, current reported medical status, negative affect, or health anxiety. In Study 2, cyberchondria was found to share moderate to strong associations with metacognitive beliefs. The association between cyberchondria and metacognitive beliefs about the uncontrollability of thoughts remained intact after accounting for the Study 1 covariates, as well as anxiety sensitivity and intolerance of uncertainty. Neither anxiety sensitivity nor intolerance of uncertainty shared unique associations with cyberchondria. These results provide a preliminary indication that a metacognitive conceptualization of problematic Internet use may be applicable to cyberchondria. Key practitioner message A metacognitive conceptualization of cyberchondria appears tenable. Metacognitive beliefs, particularly about the uncontrollability of thoughts, appear more relevant to cyberchondria than either anxiety sensitivity or intolerance of uncertainty. Metacognitive treatment strategies could be useful in the treatment of cyberchondria.
|Keywords||anxiety sensitivity; cyberchondria; intolerance of uncertainty; metacognition; metacognitive beliefs; problematic Internet use; 1701 Psychology; 1702 Cognitive Science; Clinical Psychology|
|Journal||Clin Psychol Psychother|
|Journal citation||1 (9)|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||doi:10.1002/cpp.2102|
|16 Jun 2017|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||03 Jul 2017|
|Accepted||23 May 2017|
|Accepted author manuscript|
Fergus, T. A. & Spada, M. M. Cyberchondria - Examining the relations with problematic internet use and metacognitive beliefs.doc
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