Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below

The importance of somatic symptoms in depression in primary care.

Author information

1
Institute of Psychiatry, Health Services Research Department, Denmark Hill, London, UK. a.tylee@iop.kcl.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Patients with depression present with psychological and somatic symptoms, including general aches and pains. In primary care, somatic symptoms often dominate. A review of the literature was conducted to ascertain the importance of somatic symptoms in depression in primary care.

DATA SOURCES AND EXTRACTION:

MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PsychLIT/PsychINFO databases (1985-January 2004) were searched for the terms depression, depressive, depressed AND physical, somatic, unexplained symptoms, complaints, problems; somatised, somatized symptoms; somatisation, somatization, somatoform, psychosomatic; pain; recognition, under-recognition; diagnosis, underdiagnosis; acknowledgment, under-acknowledgment; treatment, undertreatment AND primary care, ambulatory care; primary physician; office; general practice; attribution, re-attribution; and normalising, normalizing. Only English-language publications and abstracts were considered.

STUDY SELECTION:

More than 80 papers related to somatic symptoms in depression were identified using the content of their titles and abstracts.

DATA SYNTHESIS:

Approximately two thirds of patients with depression in primary care present with somatic symptoms. These patients are difficult to diagnose, feel an increased burden of disease, rely heavily on health care services, and are harder to treat. Patient and physician factors that prevent discussion of psychological symptoms during consultations must be overcome.

CONCLUSIONS:

Educational initiatives that raise awareness of somatic symptoms in depression and help patients to re-attribute these symptoms should help to improve the recognition of depression in primary care.

Comment in

PMID:
16163400
PMCID:
PMC1192435
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc. Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center