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An Effective Approach to Somatization Assessment and Management

  • Kyung Bong KohEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Somatization is a process in which there is inappropriate focus on physical symptoms and psychosocial problems are denied [1]. Somatization is highly prevalent in primary care where 20–30 % of patients fulfill criteria for somatoform disorders [2–4] and even more patients may present with medically unexplained symptoms of shorter duration [5]. In a general medical clinic in the USA, 84 % of presentations of common physical symptoms had no identified organic cause [5], and over half of new referrals to a Dutch medical outpatient clinic had symptoms that remained medically unexplained [6]. Despite its high prevalence, somatization often goes unrecognized [3, 7]. Somatizing patients suffer distress for a long time and seek treatment that results in disappointment because a correct diagnosis is not made by physicians. They doctor shop but cannot find a willing physician so they are called “medical orphans” [8]. They often make the complaint that “My symptoms are genuine, but everything is coming back negative” [9].

Keywords

Physical Symptom Cognitive Therapy Health Anxiety Unexplained Symptom Somatization Disorder 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryYonsei University College of MedicineSeodaemun-gu, SeoulKorea

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