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Psychosomatics. 1994 May-Jun;35(3):263-7.

The course of somatization and its effects on utilization of health care resources.

Author information

  • 1National Institute of Mental Health Center for Rural Mental Healthcare Research, VA Health Services Research and Development Field Program for Mental Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock 72205.

Erratum in

  • Psychosomatics 1994 Sep-Oct;35(5):513.


Patients with somatization disorder (SD), subthreshold somatization, and somatization that is comorbid with another mental or physical disorder use a remarkably high level of general medical services. Because these patients view themselves as more seriously ill than do patients in the general medical population, their use of health care services may be as high as nine times greater than that of the general population. It is important to understand the course and prevalence of SD because 1) these patients tend to overuse health care resources and services, and 2) the associated costs are enormous. It is vital that expert clinical care and research be directed at this important patient group so that appropriate treatment regimens can be developed to help these patients and control the overutilization of limited health care resources.

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