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J Health Psychol. 2013 Oct;18(10):1341-52. doi: 10.1177/1359105312439730. Epub 2012 Nov 23.

Restless legs syndrome: a qualitative analysis of psychosocial suffering and interdisciplinary attention.

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  • 1Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Brazil.


The aim of this study is to investigate psychosocial factors related to the diagnosis and treatment of patients with restless legs syndrome. Fifteen patients were interviewed at the Neuro-Sono Outpatient Clinic, Universidade Federal de São Paulo. The results were submitted to a qualitative analysis. We identified four content categories: illness description, illness history, illness experience, and relationships. Lack of control over the body and lack of recognition by professionals produce stigma and lead patients to suffering. The research underscores the relevance of psychosocial factors to the diagnosis and treatment of patients with restless legs syndrome and the importance of having interdisciplinary teams when attending patients with restless legs syndrome.


gender; interdisciplinary care; qualitative research; restless legs syndrome; suffering

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