Health anxiety (Just a Thought) course

Health anxiety (Just a Thought) course

  • This online course provides helpful information and evidence-based strategies to understand and manage health-related anxieties, using cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques.
yellow unaunahi tile
Print this page

Health anxiety course By Just A Thought


  • Information sheets (PDF) that can be downloaded and printed.
  • Progress that can be monitored.
  • Save as you go option which allows the user flexibility to choose how long then engage in the programme at any one time.
Country of origin New Zealand
Clinical review 

4 star review

Read a clinical review below.

Security and privacy Does the app:
  • Collect medical information? Yes – if chosen can complete mental health screens which are saved and can be sent through to health support person.
  • Require a login? Yes
  • Have password protection? Yes
  • Have a privacy policy? Yes
  • Require internet access to use? Yes

Read more about safety and security when using apps.

Tips to improve your privacy and security [PNG, 200 KB] Health Navigator Charitable Trust, NZ
Staying safe online(external link) Netsafe, NZ

Cost Free
Advertisements This app contains no ads.
How to access the course

The online course provides helpful information and evidence-based strategies to understand and manage health-related anxieties, using cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques.

Like the other Just a Thought programs, there are 6 parts to the course, which focus on:
Part 1 – learning about how health anxiety affects you and how cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) can help.
Part 2 – reducing your focus on health worries so you can get back to enjoying life.
Part 3 – becoming aware of your anxious thoughts.
Part 4 – learning to challenge your thoughts and find more balanced and helpful ways of thinking.
Part 5 – tackling avoidance and safety behaviours.
Part 6 – learning how to stay on track.

Each part is broken down into 3 segments:
a) Story – reading through the story of a character who has health anxiety and his journey towards acknowledgment of his condition and progress through CBT treatment.
b) Lesson – working through the lesson that relates to the chosen part’s topic.
c) Action Plan – reviewing key points and planning activities to practice between lessons.

The course recommends taking a week to complete each part (6 weeks in total), however users are able to go at their own pace and save their progress as they go.

Users can work through the course with the support of a health practitioner who can monitor their progress.

This is most useful if you:

  • struggle with health-related anxiety – indicated by the following behaviours:
    • spending a lot of time googling your symptoms
    • visiting the doctor
    • checking your body for signs of illness or changes
    • seeking reassurance from whānau and friends
    • find yourself avoiding places, situations, or conversations about health.
  • are self-motivated (high functioning).
  • have a good level of English literacy.
  • have a relationship with a trusted healthcare provider (GP, nurse or other mental health worker).

For the complete course description, go to the course website(external link) or, for a more detailed review, see reviews below.


Good source of accurate information about health anxiety and a clear evidence-based treatment approach.

Encourages the setting of goals and outlines clear actionable exercises to elicit behavioural change.

Has clear definitions and easy to understand language.

Provides interactive exercises which encourage clients to enter personal information which is then saved and summarised at the end of each part.

Effective graphics.

New Zealand-based case for clients to follow.

Able to be completed with the support of a healthcare provider and have them directly monitor your progress

Reference to online support groups.


✘ Very little variety. Apart from a couple of audio exercises to listen to it's mostly made up of content to read.

There is a lot of reading content (clicking through the many slides of the story can feel quite tedious), which may be hard for people who struggle with self-motivation, or have difficulty concentrating for longer periods of time.

The content may feel overwhelming without a health support person to oversee the progress and process questions and concerns.

Clinical review

4 star review

: David Bloore, Clinical Psychologist, David Bloore Psychology Ltd (private practice)
Date of review: August 2023
Platform: Online programme – not available via app
Comments: This is an online 6-part cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) course designed to support people to overcome health anxiety.  It is part of the Just a Thought website and draws from treatment practices, which have been demonstrated to be effective in the treatment of health anxiety. The course is designed to be completed in around 2–3 months, but can be done at the chosen pace of the user.
While users have the option to complete it on their own, it is recommended that they work through the programme with the support of an experienced health professional. This is due to the large amount of information, which may prove to be overwhelming or possibly confusing without having someone to help guide them through the process.
Overall it is a course which provides accurate and valuable information about health anxiety and offers an evidence based treatment process to help the user learn skills to treat health anxiety effectively. While the content lacks variety (written material only) it is an easy platform to navigate and a worthwhile treatment option for people suffering from health anxiety and health professionals to use with their clients.
New Zealand relevanceYes.
Safety concerns: No, but I would want to reiterate that clients should seek the support of an experienced health/mental health practitioner before starting a programme like this.

Disclaimer: The NZ Health App Library is a free consumer service to help you decide whether a health app would be suitable for you. Our review process is independent. We have no relationship with the app developers or companies and no responsibility for the service they provide. This means that if you have an issue with one of the apps we have reviewed, you will need to contact the app developer or company directly.

Credits: Healthify editorial team. Healthify is brought to you by Health Navigator Charitable Trust.