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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1997 Oct;36(10):1329-38.

Somatoform disorders in children and adolescents: a review of the past 10 years.

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Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA.



To review the literature on somatoform disorders in children and adolescents relevant to recertification by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.


The psychiatric, pediatric, and psychological literatures were searched for clinical or research articles in the past 10 years dealing with somatization and somatoform disorders.


Somatizing presentations are organized conceptually; somatization disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, hypochondriasis, conversion disorder, vocal cord dysfunction, pain disorder, and recurrent abdominal pain are described in children and adolescents; empirical evidence for treatment efficacy is scant, but clinically reasonable approaches are applied.


More developmentally appropriate diagnostic schemas and better outcome studies are needed in all the somatoform disorders for children and adolescents.

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