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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2012 Jul;200(7):603-6. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e31825bfb2e.

Anniversary reactions in medical patients.

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  • 1Psychosomatic Unit, IRCCS De Bellis Hospital, Castellana Grotte, Bari, Italy.


The aim of this study was to explore the prevalence and characteristics of anniversary reactions (somatic symptoms occurring at the anniversary of specific events) in a large sample of 1498 medical patients from different medical settings who underwent the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID) and the Structured Interview for Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosomatic Research (DCPR), which provide definition of anniversary reactions. In 54 (3.6%) of the 1498 patients for whom anniversary reaction was identified, 61.1% had a concurrent DSM-IV diagnosis. Other syndromes related to somatization, abnormal illness behavior, irritable mood, demoralization, and alexithymia were present in 9 of 10 cases. Symptoms of the conversion syndrome were found in 6 (0.4%) patients with the SCID and in 67 (4.5%) patients with the DCPR, 20% of whom also had anniversary reaction. The results should alert physicians to enquire about the timing of symptoms in relation to meaningful personal events.

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