The prevalence of conversion symptoms in women from a general Turkish population

Psychosomatics. Jan-Feb 2009;50(1):50-8. doi: 10.1176/appi.psy.50.1.50.


Background: Conversion symptoms have historically be seen to be related to dissociative disorders and early trauma.

Objective: This study sought to determine the prevalence of conversion symptoms among women in the general Turkish population.

Method: Participants (N=628) were administered The Dissociative Disorders Interview Schedule, the Borderline Personality Disorder section of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R Personality Disorders, and the PTSD Module of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R; 48.7% of participants had a lifetime history of a conversion symptom. They reported various types of childhood abuse and neglect more frequently than nonconversion subjects.

Results: Lifetime diagnosis of major depression, dissociative disorder, and childhood physical abuse predicted a conversion symptom. Effects of childhood neglect and emotional and sexual abuse among subjects with conversion symptoms were mediated by comorbid lifetime diagnosis of major depression and dissociative disorders.

Conclusion: The authors suggest revisions to the DSM-V regarding conversion and somatization disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Conversion Disorder / diagnosis
  • Conversion Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Turkey / epidemiology