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Br J Gen Pract. 2015 Sep;65(638):e617-23. doi: 10.3399/bjgp15X686545.

Patient characteristics and frequency of bodily distress syndrome in primary care: a cross-sectional study.

Author information

1
Research Unit for General Practice, Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Denmark.
2
Research Clinic for Functional Disorders and Psychosomatics, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark.

Erratum in

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Bodily distress syndrome (BDS) is a newly proposed diagnosis of medically unexplained symptoms, which is based on empirical research in primary care.

AIM:

To estimate the frequency of BDS in primary care and describe the characteristics of patients with BDS.

DESIGN AND SETTING:

A cross-sectional study of primary care patients in urban and rural areas of Central Denmark Region.

METHOD:

Data were obtained from GP one-page registration forms, patient questionnaires (including a checklist for BDS), and national registers.

RESULTS:

A total of 1356 primary care patients were included, of whom 230 patients (17.0%, 95% confidence intervals [CI] = 15.0 to 19.1) fulfilled the BDS criteria. BDS was more common among primary care patients aged 41-65 years (odds ratio [OR] = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.3 to 3.0) and was equally frequent among males and females (female sex, OR 0.9, 95% CI = 0.6 to 1.3). Patients with BDS were characterised by poor health-related quality of life (HRQOL) on the 12-item Short-Form Health Survey, that is, physical component summary scores <40 (OR 20.5, 95% CI = 12.9 to 32.4) and mental component summary scores <40 (OR 3.5, 95% CI = 2.2 to 5.6). Furthermore, patients with BDS were more likely to have high scores on the Symptom Checklist for anxiety (OR 2.2, 95% CI = 1.4 to 3.4) and depression (OR 5.1, 95% CI = 3.3 to 7.9), but regression analyses showed that mental morbidity did not account for the poor HRQOL.

CONCLUSION:

BDS is common among primary care patients, and patients with BDS have a higher probability of poor HRQOL and mental health problems.

KEYWORDS:

cross-sectional analysis; general practice; signs and symptoms; somatoform disorders

PMID:
26324499
PMCID:
PMC4540402
DOI:
10.3399/bjgp15X686545
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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