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Psychosomatics. 2007 Jul-Aug;48(4):294-303.

A one-session treatment for patients suffering from medically unexplained symptoms in primary care: a randomized clinical trial.

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Section for Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Gutenbergstrasse 18 D-35032 Marburg, Germany.


The aim of the study was to evaluate a one-session cognitive-behavior treatment (CBT) versus standard medical care for 140 primary-care patients with multiple somatoform symptoms. DSM-IV diagnoses were assessed with structured interviews. Primary outcome variables were healthcare utilization, number, and severity of somatoform symptoms, and secondary outcome measures were psychopathology dimensions. Assessments were done at study enrollment, at 4-weeks, and at 6-month follow-up. General acceptance of CBT was high (positive session evaluations, low dropout rate: 15%). Using an intent-to-treat analytic strategy, both groups improved. Yet results showed a stronger reduction in doctor visits and somatization severity in CBT versus standard care.

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