WHO Guide to Mental and Neurological Health in Primary Care
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Homepage :: Adult disorders :: Unexplained somatic complaints :: Diagnostic features

Diagnostic features

  • Physical symptoms which persist and remain unexplained following adequate examination, investigations and explanation by the doctor.
  • Commonly, frequent medical visits in spite of negative investigations.
  • Symptoms of depression and anxiety are common. The likelihood of psychiatric disorder (anxiety or depression) increases with increasing number of unexplained somatic symptoms (ref 236).

Some patients may be primarily concerned with obtaining relief from physical symptoms.  Others may be worried about having a physical illness and be unable to believe that no physical condition is present (hypochondriasis).



236 Mayou R, Farmer A. ABC of psychological medicine. Functional somatic symptoms and syndromes. Br Med J 2002, 325: 265-268

Last edited: 26/1/2004

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