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J Psychosom Res. 2004 Apr;56(4):413-8.

The prevalence of somatoform disorders among internal medical inpatients.

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Research Unit for Functional Disorders, Psychosomatics and C-L-Psychiatry, Aarhus University Hospital, Noerrebrogade 44, DK-8200 Aarhus N, Denmark.



To find the prevalence of somatoform disorders (SDs) among internal medical inpatients and to study the comorbidity with other psychiatric disorders.


Of 392 eligible consecutive medical inpatients, 294 (75%) accepted to participate and, using a two-phase design, were assessed for ICD and DSM-IV somatoform diagnoses and for ICD-10 psychiatric diagnoses.


A total of 18.1% (95% CI: 12.8-24.9%) of the patients fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for an ICD-10 disorder, and 20.2% (95% CI:14.7-27.2% ) for a DSM-IV SD. The prevalence of specified disorders revealed marked differences between the two diagnostic systems, e.g., concerning somatisation disorder (SD), which was more prevalent in the ICD-10 (5%) than in the DSM-IV (1.5%) equivalent. Quite the contrary was found in undifferentiated SD (0.7% in ICD-10 and 10% in DSM-IV). According to ICD-10 criteria, 3.5% had hypochondriasis, 2.6% a dissociative disorder, 3.2% a somatoform autonomic dysfunction, 1.5% had neurasthenia or persistent somatoform pain disorder, and 5% had an SD, unspecified. SDs were more prevalent among younger females. Thirty-six percent of the patients with SDs also had another psychiatric disorder, 11% a depression, and 25% an anxiety disorder. The physicians detected about 1/3 of the cases.


Somatoform disorders were prevalent among internal medical inpatients especially among younger women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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