Background: Disabling medically unexplained physical symptoms occur in 16% of all patients in primary care.
Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a cognitive-behavioral intervention by the family physician.
Method: In a controlled design with detailed information on patient selection, 6,409 patients were screened on somatoform disorder, and 65 participants were allocated to care-as-usual or the experimental condition.
Results: After 6 and 12 months, the cognitive-behavioral intervention by trained family physicians was not more effective than care-as-usual.
Conclusion: Possibly, the intensity of treatment was insufficient for the severe and persistent symptoms that were encountered in primary care.