The authors discuss the significance of identifying primary care patients with dramatic and persistent unexplained physical (medical) symptoms, especially given the concerns about containing health care costs. Such patients are a cause of frustration to the clinician, because the clinician may experience a sense of failure after using the state of the art and still being eluded by a diagnosis. We focus on the methods for understanding somatic worry or preoccupation, which is the essential process in a variety of somatoform disorders. The second half of the article focuses on evaluation and treatment considerations and includes a discussion of both psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacologic treatment strategies for the somatizing patient.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health