Somatoform disorders among first-time referrals to a neurology service

Psychosomatics. 2005 Nov-Dec;46(6):540-8. doi: 10.1176/appi.psy.46.6.540.


Consecutive new neurology inpatients and outpatients (N=198) were assessed for somatoform disorders by using the Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry. Sixty-one percent of the patients (59% of the female patients and 63% of the male patients) had at least one medically unexplained symptom, and 34.9% fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for an ICD-10 somatoform disorder (27.7% of the male patients, 41.3% of the female patients, 20.5% of the inpatients, and 43.2% of the outpatients). The prevalence figures were about the same when DSM-IV criteria for somatoform disorders were used. Of the patients with a somatoform disorder, 60.5% also had another mental disorder. Somatization disorder, somatoform autonomic dysfunction, pain disorder, and neurasthenia were equally prevalent (6%-7%); dissociative (conversion) disorders and undifferentiated somatoform disorders were found in 2-3% of the patients. Fifty percent of the patients with somatoform disorders were identified by the neurologists.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Female
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • International Classification of Diseases
  • Male
  • Neurology / statistics & numerical data*
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Somatoform Disorders / diagnosis
  • Somatoform Disorders / epidemiology*