Somatisation disorder in primary care

J. I. Escobar, M. Gara, R. Cohen Silver, H. Waitzkin, A. Holman, W. Compton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background: Somatisation is a common and frustrating clinical problem in primary care. Method: Using structural diagnoses and functional measures, we examined the prevalence and associated features of somatisation disorder defined by three current nosologies and an abridged construct in subjects using primary care services. Results: Somatisation disorder, diagnosed according to the standard criteria, was found to have avery low prevalence (range 0.06-0.5%), while more than one-fifth of the sample (22%) metthe criteria for the abridged diagnosis. There was poor agreement between succeeding versions of the DSM system for identifying cases of somatisation disorder, each system ending up with rather disparate sets of individuals as well as variable levels of psychopathology and disability. Conclusions: According to these data, standard somatisation disorder diagnoses add little to the prediction of disability/psychopathology beyond the contributions of an abridged construct of somatisation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-266
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Issue numberSEPT.
StatePublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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