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J Psychosom Res. 2004 Dec;57(6):507-14; discussion 515-6.

Psychosocial interventions for somatizing patients by the general practitioner: a randomized controlled trial.

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Department of Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, University Hospital of Freiburg, Hauptstr. 8, Freiburg D-79104, Germany.



The objective of this study was to compare the effects of psychosocial interventions based on the modified reattribution model for somatizing patients in general practice (GP) with those of nonspecific psychosocial primary care (PPC) alone.


Forty-two GPs were randomized, 23 into the intervention group (IG), who were trained in reattribution techniques, and 19 into the control group (CG). One hundred twenty-seven patients were included. Primary outcome measures were somatoform symptoms and quality of life.


Multilevel modeling revealed a reduction of physical symptoms (P = .007), an improvement in physical functioning (P = .0172), and a reduction of depression (P = .0211) and anxiety (P = .0388) in the IG compared with the CG at the 3-month follow-up. However, results no longer remained significant after controlling for baseline and covariate variables besides a reduction of physical symptoms at 6-month follow-up (P = .029).


Compared with nonspecific PPC, the effects of reattribution techniques were small and limited to physical symptoms.

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