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, 45, 51-55

Conversion Disorder: A Systematic Review of Current Terminology


Conversion Disorder: A Systematic Review of Current Terminology

Juen Mei Ding et al. Gen Hosp Psychiatry.


Objective: It has been argued that the label given to unexplained neurological symptoms is an important contributor to their often poor acceptance, and there has been recent debate on proposals to change the name from conversion disorder. There have been multiple studies of layperson and clinician preference and this article aimed to review these.

Design: Multiple databases were searched using terms including "conversion disorder" and "terminology", and relative preferences for the terms extracted.

Results: Seven articles were found which looked at clinician or layperson preferences for terminology for unexplained neurological symptoms. Most neurologists favoured terms such as "functional" and "psychogenic", while laypeople were comfortable with "functional" but viewed "psychogenic" as more offensive; "non-epileptic/organic" was relatively popular with both groups.

Conclusions: "Functional" is a term that is relatively popular with both clinicians and the public. It also meets more of the other criteria proposed for an acceptable label than other popular terms - however the views of neither psychiatrists nor actual patients with the disorder were considered.

Keywords: Conversion disorder; Dissociative disorder; Functional neurological disorder; Patient perspective; Psychogenic; Terminology.

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