Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Comparative Study
, 25 (1), 45-51

Somatization Disorder in a Family Practice

  • PMID: 3598478
Comparative Study

Somatization Disorder in a Family Practice

F deGruy et al. J Fam Pract.

Abstract

Somatization disorder is a condition characterized by multiple unexplained complaints. This study was done to determine the prevalence of somatization disorder in a family practice office setting, to characterize the patients so affected, and to assess their impact on the practice. A sample of ill patients was interviewed, of whom 6 (5 percent) had definite somatization disorder and another 4 (4 percent) had borderline somatization disorder (ten or more symptoms). All were women, and they were more likely than controls to live in households with children but no spouse (P less than .01). They were also more likely than their unaffected counterparts to be from the lowest two social classes (P less than .01). Compared with matched controls, their rate of office visits and charges incurred was about 50 percent greater (.58 visits per month vs .41 visits per month; $23.28 per month vs $14.44 per month). Their charts were thicker (7 cm vs 3.6 cm) and heavier (3076 g vs 1843 g) and had more diagnoses (85 vs 51) than controls. The physicians of the somatizers were significantly less satisfied with the care rendered to them than to the controls (P less than .01). This study demonstrates that somatization disorder is a prevalent, expensive, and difficult problem for family physicians.

Similar articles

  • Somatization Disorder in a University Hospital
    F deGruy et al. J Fam Pract 25 (6), 579-84. PMID 3681219.
    Somatization disorder is a condition characterized by multiple unexplained complaints. To characterize this disorder as it occurs in a university hospital, a sample of 21 …
  • Somatization Increases Medical Utilization and Costs Independent of Psychiatric and Medical Comorbidity
    AJ Barsky et al. Arch Gen Psychiatry 62 (8), 903-10. PMID 16061768.
    Patients with somatization had approximately twice the outpatient and inpatient medical care utilization and twice the annual medical care costs of nonsomatizing patients …
  • Families Who Somatize
    R Livingston et al. J Dev Behav Pediatr 16 (1), 42-6. PMID 7730456.
    This investigation extends a previous study of children of people with somatization disorder and children of less severely affected somatizers. We used the revised Diagno …
  • Somatization in Family Practice: A Biopsychosocial Approach
    G Rosen et al. J Fam Pract 14 (3), 493-502. PMID 7038028. - Review
    The family physician sees many patients who present physical symptoms that have primarily an emotional or psychosocial basis. This paper defines the concept of somatizati …
  • Somatization Disorder in Family Practice
    NH Rasmussen et al. Am Fam Physician 40 (2), 206-14. PMID 2667302. - Review
    Although often difficult to recognize, somatization disorder--the presence of multiple physical symptoms but no apparent physical or psychiatric disease--is a common prob …
See all similar articles

Cited by 16 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

Feedback