Somatic symptoms in consultation-liaison psychiatry
Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research , Chandigarh 160012 , India.International Review of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 1.8). 02/2013; 25(1):52-64. DOI: 10.3109/09540261.2012.727786
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.
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ABSTRACT: A multidisciplinary approach has been shown to be effective for the treatment of intractable pain. However, few hospitals in Japan have established liaison clinics for such patients. In this study, we investigated the short-term results of a liaison clinic for patients with intractable chronic pain. Study participants comprised 53 outpatients (20 men, 33 women) with intractable chronic pain who visited our hospital between April 2012 and March 2013. At baseline, patients completed a self-reported questionnaire and provided demographic and clinical information. Experts in various fields (anesthesia, orthopedic surgery, psychiatry, physical therapy, and nursing) conducted examinations of patients and attended a weekly conference during which patients' physical, psychological, and social problems were discussed and courses of treatment were determined. All patients were assessed using the Numerical Rating Scale (NRS), Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and Pain Disability Assessment Scale (PDAS). Eligibility for the pain liaison outpatient clinic was evaluated using multiple logistic regression analysis. After a 6-month follow-up period, no significant changes were seen in scores for the NRS, PDAS, or HADS for depression. In contrast, scores for both the PCS and HADS for anxiety were significantly reduced after 6 months of treatment (p < 0.05). HADS for anxiety was identified as a factor related to patient resistance to attending the pain liaison outpatient clinic (p < 0.05). This liaison clinic for patients with intractable chronic pain was able to improve patient anxiety. Severe anxiety at the initial visit represented a risk factor for dropout from the clinic.
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ABSTRACT: Objectives We tested the hypothesis that the prevalence of somatic syndromes, anxiety, and insomnia among sleep disordered breathing (SDB) patients is correlated with their levels of somatic arousal, the symptoms of increased sympathetic nervous system tone under conditions of stress. Methods We administered the Body Sensation Questionnaire (BSQ; a 17-item questionnaire with increasing levels of somatic arousal scored 17–85) to 152 consecutive upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS) patients and 150 consecutive obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea (OSA/H) patients. From medical records, we characterized each patient in terms of the presence of syndromes and symptoms into three categories: somatic syndromes (six syndromes), anxiety (anxiety disorders, nightmares, use of benzodiazepines), and insomnia (sleep onset, sleep maintenance, and use of hypnotics). For the pooled sample of SDB patients, we modeled the correlation of the BSQ score with the presence of each syndrome/symptom parameter within each of the three categories, with adjustment for male vs. female. Results Mean BSQ scores in females were significantly higher than those in males (32.5 ± 11.1 vs. 26.9 ± 8.2; mean ± SD). Increasing BSQ scores significantly correlated with increasing prevalence rates of somatic syndromes (p < 0.0001), of anxiety (p < 0.0001), and of insomnia (p ≤ 0.0001). In general, females had higher prevalence rates of somatic syndromes and symptoms of anxiety than males at any BSQ score while rates of insomnia were similar. Conclusions In patients with SDB, there is a strong association between the level of somatic arousal and the presence of stress-related disorders like somatic syndromes, anxiety, and insomnia.
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