Conversion disorders in Nottingham: alive, but not kicking

J Psychosom Res. 1997 Oct;43(4):425-30. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3999(97)00123-2.


A postal request to general practitioners in a catchment area (population 37,000) identified 18 patients fulfilling criteria for conversion disorder (age range 26-74 years; mean age of onset of first episode 38 years). There was a female preponderance, with two patients from ethnic minority groups. There was a temporal correlation with stress in 13 cases (72%) and a history of sexual abuse in 5 cases (28%). Three clinical groups were identified: acute onset with good premorbid functioning and full recovery; conversion symptoms as part of polysymptomatic presentation, with fluctuating course; and chronic, severely disturbed individuals with a past history of sexual abuse. One third of cases were referred to psychiatrists. There was no case of a missed organic disorder. The details of one case are discussed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case Management
  • Child
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / psychology
  • Comorbidity
  • Conversion Disorder* / epidemiology
  • Conversion Disorder* / etiology
  • Conversion Disorder* / physiopathology
  • Conversion Disorder* / therapy
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stress, Psychological / complications
  • Treatment Outcome