Cognitive behavior therapy for somatization disorder: a preliminary investigation

J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. 2001 Jun;32(2):53-62. doi: 10.1016/s0005-7916(01)00020-9.


Patients diagnosed with somatization disorder have high rates of disability and often prove refractory to treatment. This preliminary investigation examines the effect of a 10-session cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) protocol on the physical discomfort and disability of severely impaired somatizers. The severity of patients' physical discomfort and disability was assessed at baseline, post-treatment, and eight months following treatment. Patients reported significant improvement in symptomatology and physical functioning between baseline and post-treatment as well as between baseline and follow-up. The findings suggest that CBT might benefit patients diagnosed with somatization disorder and should be subjected to a controlled treatment trial.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Somatoform Disorders / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome