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Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2015 Nov-Dec;37(6):560-6. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2015.08.002. Epub 2015 Aug 20.

The prognosis of bodily distress syndrome: a cohort study in primary care.

Author information

1
Research Unit for General Practice, Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Bartholins Allé 2, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark. Electronic address: anna.budtz-lilly@ph.au.dk.
2
Research Unit for General Practice, Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Bartholins Allé 2, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.
3
Research Clinic for Functional Disorders and Psychosomatics, Aarhus University Hospital, Nørrebrogade 44, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Bodily distress syndrome (BDS) is a newly proposed diagnosis for functional disorders. The diagnosis is based on empirical research, but little is known about the course of the disease. We aimed to study the prognosis in terms of diagnosis stability over time.

METHOD:

A longitudinal study of 1356 primary care patients with 2-year follow-up was conducted in the Central Denmark Region. Data were obtained from family physician registration forms, patient questionnaires (including a BDS checklist) and nationwide registries. Complete data were available for 1001 patients (73.8%).

RESULTS:

Overall, 146 persons [14.6%, 95% confidence interval (CI): 12.5-16.9] fulfilled the criteria for BDS at baseline and 142 persons (14.2%, CI: 12.1-16.5) at follow-up. Among study participants with BDS at baseline, 56.8% (CI: 48.4-65.0) also had BDS at follow-up. Multiorgan BDS tended to be more persistent (81.8%, CI: 48.2-97.7) than single-organ BDS (54.8%, CI: 46.0-63.4). Patients with BDS had fewer socioeconomic resources, experienced more emotional distress, and used more opioids and medical services.

CONCLUSIONS:

BDS is a common clinical condition being prone to chronicity; one in seven primary care patients met the criteria for BDS, and more than half of these patients still suffered from BDS 2 years later.

KEYWORDS:

Cohort study; Medically unexplained symptoms; Primary care; Somatoform disorders; Stability of diagnosis

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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