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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1997 Jul;96(1):14-24.

Group therapy for somatization disorders in general practice: effectiveness of a short cognitive-behavioural treatment model.

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  • 1Preventive Medicine Unit, Helsingborg County Hospital and Pain Clinic, Sweden.


The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of a short cognitive behavioural group therapy programme for somatization disorder in primary care. The treatment model was focused on patient education and stress relaxation. A controlled and prospective study design was used with repeated assessments of the patients' perception of their psychosocial problems, psychological distress and medication usage. The results were analysed up to 6 months after treatment and showed the treated patients to be moderately but significantly improved with respect to physical illness and somatic preoccupation, hypochondriasis, and medication usage. In a control group of untreated patients no such improvements were observed. In summary, the short group treatment programme used in this study may be beneficial for patients with somatization disorders. With some modifications it might be useful to practitioners in primary care for the management of psychosomatic disorders.

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