Management of somatic symptoms

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleCommunication

ABSTRACT: Somatic symptoms that cannot be attributed to organic disease account for 15 to 20% of primary care consultations and up to 50% in specialized settings. About 6% of the general population has chronic somatic symptoms that affect functioning and quality of life. This chapter focuses on the recognition and effective management of patients with excessive and disabling somatic symptoms. The clinical presentation of somatic symptoms is categorized into three groups of patients: those with multiple somatic symptoms, those with health anxiety, and those with conversion disorder. The chapter provides information to assist with making a diagnosis and differential diagnosis. Management includes ways to improve the physician–patient interaction that will benefit the patient, a step-care model based on illness severity and complexity, and psychological and pharmacologic treatment. The chapter is enhanced by figures and tables that summarize health anxiety, symptoms, differential diagnoses, and management strategies, as well as by case studies and examples.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScientific American Medicine
ISSN0194-9063
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014

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