Conversion reaction: management by the paediatrician

Eur J Pediatr. 1999 Feb;158(2):160-4. doi: 10.1007/s004310051039.


We describe the diagnosis and management of 47 children with conversion reaction seen during the past 9 years in our outpatient department. Some illustrative cases are reported in detail. The study shows that conversion reactions in children can often be accurately diagnosed by detailed history and physical examination. When the diagnosis was made early and presented with certainty, both parental acceptance and the child's recovery were easier, and the need for expensive and unnecessary diagnostic procedures was eliminated. Immediate intervention by the paediatrician prevented perpetuation of the problem, secondary gains and continuing family stress. Most of the patients recovered after a few days without recurrence. The major role of the paediatrician is emphasized. Co-operation between the patients, parents and the paediatrician is important, as is close follow up.

Conclusion: Paediatricians cope successfully with children with conversion reaction with early diagnosis and immediate intervention.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Conversion Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Conversion Disorder / psychology
  • Conversion Disorder / therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Referral and Consultation