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Are psychological features useful in classifying patients with somatic symptoms?
Psychosom Med. 2010 Sep; 72(7):648-55.PM

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate psychological characteristics that could be used for the classification of somatic syndromes requesting medical care. Positive psychological classification criteria are needed to justify the classification of somatic syndromes as Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders- or International Classification of Diseases-10 section F/mental disorders diagnosis.

METHODS

From a population-based sample of 2510 people, subsamples reporting high scores for somatic symptoms (SOM+; n = 154) versus average scores for somatic symptoms (SOM-; n = 167) were defined. Telephone interviews (e.g., structured interviews for diagnoses, healthcare use, symptom history, possible psychological characteristics), self-rating scales (e.g., Pain Disability Index, depression scale Patient Health Questionnaire-9), and general practitioners reports were collected for these subsamples. In addition to somatic symptoms, we used healthcare use and disability as major external validation criteria.

RESULTS

There was strong evidence for ten of the 28 binary coded psychological variables to identify those people with somatic symptoms who needed medical help and/or were seriously disabled. These variables included "avoidance of physical activities," "bias for somatic illness attributions," "self-concept of being physically weak," and "desperation because of somatic symptoms." The relevance of these psychological characteristics was partially further confirmed by stepwise regression analyses, which showed incremental validity compared with variables like somatic symptoms and depression.

CONCLUSIONS

This study identified several psychological characteristics of people with somatic complaints who need medical care. These features can be assessed, using binary variables that are more feasible for classification processes. These psychological criteria should be included in classification rules for people with somatic syndromes (e.g., somatoform disorders).

Authors+Show Affiliations

Division of Clinical Psychology and Psychological Intervention, Department of Psychology, University of Marburg, Marburg, Germany. rief@staff.uni-marburg.deNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

20368474

Citation

Rief, Winfried, et al. "Are Psychological Features Useful in Classifying Patients With Somatic Symptoms?" Psychosomatic Medicine, vol. 72, no. 7, 2010, pp. 648-55.
Rief W, Mewes R, Martin A, et al. Are psychological features useful in classifying patients with somatic symptoms? Psychosom Med. 2010;72(7):648-55.
Rief, W., Mewes, R., Martin, A., Glaesmer, H., & Braehler, E. (2010). Are psychological features useful in classifying patients with somatic symptoms? Psychosomatic Medicine, 72(7), 648-55. https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0b013e3181d73fce
Rief W, et al. Are Psychological Features Useful in Classifying Patients With Somatic Symptoms. Psychosom Med. 2010;72(7):648-55. PubMed PMID: 20368474.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Are psychological features useful in classifying patients with somatic symptoms? AU - Rief,Winfried, AU - Mewes,Ricarda, AU - Martin,Alexandra, AU - Glaesmer,Heide, AU - Braehler,Elmar, Y1 - 2010/04/05/ PY - 2010/4/7/entrez PY - 2010/4/7/pubmed PY - 2010/10/22/medline SP - 648 EP - 55 JF - Psychosomatic medicine JO - Psychosom Med VL - 72 IS - 7 N2 - OBJECTIVE: To evaluate psychological characteristics that could be used for the classification of somatic syndromes requesting medical care. Positive psychological classification criteria are needed to justify the classification of somatic syndromes as Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders- or International Classification of Diseases-10 section F/mental disorders diagnosis. METHODS: From a population-based sample of 2510 people, subsamples reporting high scores for somatic symptoms (SOM+; n = 154) versus average scores for somatic symptoms (SOM-; n = 167) were defined. Telephone interviews (e.g., structured interviews for diagnoses, healthcare use, symptom history, possible psychological characteristics), self-rating scales (e.g., Pain Disability Index, depression scale Patient Health Questionnaire-9), and general practitioners reports were collected for these subsamples. In addition to somatic symptoms, we used healthcare use and disability as major external validation criteria. RESULTS: There was strong evidence for ten of the 28 binary coded psychological variables to identify those people with somatic symptoms who needed medical help and/or were seriously disabled. These variables included "avoidance of physical activities," "bias for somatic illness attributions," "self-concept of being physically weak," and "desperation because of somatic symptoms." The relevance of these psychological characteristics was partially further confirmed by stepwise regression analyses, which showed incremental validity compared with variables like somatic symptoms and depression. CONCLUSIONS: This study identified several psychological characteristics of people with somatic complaints who need medical care. These features can be assessed, using binary variables that are more feasible for classification processes. These psychological criteria should be included in classification rules for people with somatic syndromes (e.g., somatoform disorders). SN - 1534-7796 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/20368474/Are_psychological_features_useful_in_classifying_patients_with_somatic_symptoms DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -