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J Nerv Ment Dis. 1996 Nov;184(11):680-7.

The classification of multiple somatoform symptoms.

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  • 1Roseneck Hospital, Center for Behavioral Medicine, Prien a. Ch., Germany.


This study evaluated the concordance among different approaches to diagnose patients with multiple somatoform symptoms. Inpatients (N = 108) of a center for behavioral medicine were diagnosed using a structured clinical interview. Somatization disorder according to DSM-IV and ICD-10 was as rare as somatization disorder according to DSM-III-R. The overlap between the criteria of DSM and ICD for somatization disorder was lower than that between DSM-III-R and DSM-IV. Somatoform autonomic dysfunction, a diagnostic category proposed by ICD-10, included fewer patients diagnosed with somatization disorder than the criteria of Escobar and colleagues for abridged somatization disorder (SSI-4/6: this Journal 177:140-146, 1989). Therefore, the Escobar criteria may be a common link between ICD-10 and DSM-IV. Although the original Escobar criteria were built upon the symptom list of DSM-III-R somatization disorder, SSI-3/5 is an empirically derived equivalent according to DSM-IV in our study (a minimum of 3 symptoms for men or 5 symptoms for women out of the list of 33 somatization symptoms according to DSM-IV).

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