Current Psychiatry Reports

, 19:11 | Cite as

Pediatric Somatic Symptom Disorders

  • Nasuh MalasEmail author
  • Roberto Ortiz-Aguayo
  • Lisa Giles
  • Patricia Ibeziako
Complex Medical-Psychiatric Issues (MB Riba, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Complex Medical-Psychiatric Issues


Somatic symptom disorder (SSD) is a common disorder encountered in pediatric medicine. It involves the presentation of physical symptoms that are either disproportionate or inconsistent with history, physical examination, laboratory, and other investigative findings. SSDs result in significant impairment with considerable increase in healthcare utilization, school absenteeism, and the potential for unnecessary diagnostic evaluation and treatment intervention. Patients and families often feel dismissed and may worry that a serious condition has been missed. Primary care providers are frequently frustrated due to a lack of a successful approach to patients and families impacted by SSD. The result is often a cycle of disability, frustration and missed opportunities for collaboration towards enhanced patient functionality. This review summarizes the current evidence-based understanding, as well as insights from clinician experience, on the evaluation and management of pediatric SSD.


Somatic symptom disorder Somatization Somatoform Conversion Functional Pediatric Medically unexplained symptoms 



The editors would like to thank Dr. Tami D. Benton for taking the time to review this manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Nasuh Malas, Roberto Ortiz-Aguayo, Lisa Giles, and Patricia Ibeziako declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nasuh Malas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Roberto Ortiz-Aguayo
    • 2
  • Lisa Giles
    • 3
    • 4
  • Patricia Ibeziako
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and PediatricsUniversity of Michigan Medical SchoolAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and PediatricsChildren’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, University of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA
  3. 3.Department of Pediatrics and PsychiatryUniversity of Utah School of MedicineSalt Lake CityUSA
  4. 4.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral HealthPrimary Children’s HospitalSalt Lake CityUSA
  5. 5.Department of Psychiatry, Boston Children’s HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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