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Br J Psychiatry. 2012 Jun;200(6):499-507. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.111.098681. Epub 2012 Apr 26.

Cognitive-behavioural group treatment for a range of functional somatic syndromes: randomised trial.

Author information

1
Research Clinic for Functional Disorders and Psychosomatics, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark. andreas.schroeder@aarhus.rm.dk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Many specialty-specific functional somatic syndrome diagnoses exist to describe people who are experiencing so-called medically unexplained symptoms. Although cognitive-behavioural therapy can be effective in the management of such syndromes, it is rarely available. A cognitive-behavioural therapy suitable for group treatment of people with different functional somatic syndromes could address this problem.

AIMS:

To test the efficacy of a cognitive-behavioural therapy (Specialised Treatment for Severe Bodily Distress Syndromes, STreSS) designed for patients with a range of severe functional somatic syndromes.

METHOD:

A randomised controlled trial (clinicaltrials.gov, NCT00132197) compared STreSS (nine 3.5 h sessions over 4 months, n = 54) with enhanced usual care (management by primary care physician or medical specialist, n = 66). The primary outcome was improvement in aggregate score on subscales of the 36-item Short Form Health Survey (physical functioning, bodily pain and vitality) at 16 months.

RESULTS:

Participants receiving STreSS had a greater improvement on the primary outcome (adjusted mean difference 4.0, 95% CI 1.4-6.6, P = 0.002) and on most secondary outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS:

In the management of functional somatic syndromes, a cognitive-behavioural group treatment was more effective than enhanced usual care.

PMID:
22539780
DOI:
10.1192/bjp.bp.111.098681
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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