The course of somatization and its effects on utilization of health care resources

Psychosomatics. 1994 May-Jun;35(3):263-7. doi: 10.1016/S0033-3182(94)71774-6.


Patients with somatization disorder (SD), subthreshold somatization, and somatization that is comorbid with another mental or physical disorder use a remarkably high level of general medical services. Because these patients view themselves as more seriously ill than do patients in the general medical population, their use of health care services may be as high as nine times greater than that of the general population. It is important to understand the course and prevalence of SD because 1) these patients tend to overuse health care resources and services, and 2) the associated costs are enormous. It is vital that expert clinical care and research be directed at this important patient group so that appropriate treatment regimens can be developed to help these patients and control the overutilization of limited health care resources.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care / economics
  • Hospitalization / economics*
  • Humans
  • Psychiatry
  • Somatoform Disorders / diagnosis
  • Somatoform Disorders / psychology
  • Somatoform Disorders / rehabilitation*