Abstract In medically ill patients the term 'somatic symptoms' is used to understand those symptoms which cannot be fully understood in the light of existing medical illness(es). These include a number of physical symptoms and also certain clinical syndromes such as irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome among others. However, it is increasingly recognized that such patients have larger degrees of psychological morbidities, especially depressive and anxiety disorders, and have disproportionately elevated rates of medical care utilization, including outpatient visits, hospitalizations and total healthcare costs. In view of this psychological morbidity, significant distress and functional impairment, the role of the consultation-liaison psychiatrist is prominent in the management of these patients. A consultation-liaison (CL) psychiatrist is expected to be part of the primary care team to manage patient with unexplained SS, and at the same time is expected to guide colleagues to practice a patient-centred approach to improve the outcome of patients with such symptoms. The clinical work of a CL psychiatrist involves evaluation of patients with medically unexplained symptoms for probable psychiatric disorders and treatment of psychiatric morbidity and also management of patients without psychiatric morbidity. Management strategies include reattribution, cognitive behaviour therapy and antidepressants, with each strategy showing varying degrees of success.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Because depression and painful symptoms commonly occur together, we conducted a literature review to determine the prevalence of both conditions and the effects of comorbidity on diagnosis, clinical outcomes, and treatment. The prevalences of pain in depressed cohorts and depression in pain cohorts are higher than when these conditions are individually examined. The presence of pain negatively affects the recognition and treatment of depression. When pain is moderate to severe, impairs function, and/or is refractory to treatment, it is associated with more depressive symptoms and worse depression outcomes (eg, lower quality of life, decreased work function, and increased health care utilization). Similarly, depression in patients with pain is associated with more pain complaints and greater impairment. Depression and pain share biological pathways and neurotransmitters, which has implications for the treatment of both concurrently. A model that incorporates assessment and treatment of depression and pain simultaneously is necessary for improved outcomes.
Archives of Internal Medicine 12/2003; 163(20):2433-45. DOI:10.1001/archinte.163.20.2433 · 17.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A self-report questionnaire completed by 177 out-patients showed that hypochondriasis and amplification had a zero-order correlation of 0.56, and in stepwise multiple regression amplification accounted for 31% of the variance in hypochondriasis, after sociodemographic variables had been accounted for. Fears of ageing and death, and a childhood history of illness in the family, increased the R2 to 0.50. Amplification was more powerful in women than in men and was also a significant (although weaker) correlate of somatisation, explaining 12% of the variance. Somatisation also correlated with being female, the propensity to seek medical care, and a diminished sense of efficacy over one's health. Our findings are consistent with the possibility that somatosensory amplification occurs in hypochondriasis.
The British Journal of Psychiatry 10/1990; 157(3):404-9. DOI:10.1192/bjp.157.3.404 · 7.99 Impact Factor
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