Noncardiac chest pain: interest in a medical psychological treatment

J Psychosom Res. 1998 Nov;45(5):471-6. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3999(97)00306-1.


The aim of this study was to assess to what extent patients with unexplained chest pain (UCP) are interested in a medical psychological treatment, and to find biographical or medical status variables predictive of that need. A total of 1053 patients with a discharge diagnosis of UCP from two cardiac outpatient clinics were approached by mail. Of these, 77.2% returned the questionnaire, which inquired about duration, frequency, and intensity of UCP; limitations in activities; and whether they would like medical psychological treatment for their UCP. Results showed little spontaneous recovery, and indicated no association between duration of UCP and interest in treatment. Younger patients and males were more interested in treatment. Furthermore, limitations in activities rather than frequency or intensity of pain was the most important predictor of interest in treatment. A three-step plan is proposed to enhance care for patients with UCP.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Chest Pain / psychology*
  • Chest Pain / therapy
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Surveys and Questionnaires