The frequent consulter in primary medical care

J Psychosom Res. 1986;30(5):589-600. doi: 10.1016/0022-3999(86)90032-2.


A comparison is reported between a group of frequent consulters of general medical practitioners and a group of infrequent consulters. The frequent consulters reported more symptoms, particularly upper respiratory, gastro-intestinal and back troubles. They took more proprietory medicines and more vitamin pills and were less inclined to ignore symptoms. They were more inclined to negative mood. Although they had slightly fewer stressful life events they coped less well with them, perhaps because they had less satisfactory family and social support and found less distraction in social activities. By means of a model the symptoms of these subjects are contrasted with symptoms found in psychosomatic disorder.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events
  • Middle Aged
  • Primary Health Care
  • Referral and Consultation*
  • Self Medication / psychology
  • Sick Role
  • Social Adjustment
  • Social Support
  • Somatoform Disorders / psychology*