Bodily Complaints with No Identified Organic Cause Among Women: Psychosocial Resources as a Buffer

  • Uri Aviram
  • Zeev Ben-Sira
  • Ilana Shoham
  • Ilse Stern


General practitioners have long been familiar with the phenomenon of patients presenting bodily complaints with no identifiable organic cause1. In many instances the problem has been attributed to emotional difficulties. There are estimates that emotional problems are present among more than a third of the patients seen by general practitioners2,3. Moreover, the prevalence rate of emotional problems has been higher among women than men4,5. Presentation of emotional problems through bodily complaints is related to the psychosocial and cultural background of the person6,7. Women of lower socioeconomic status are more likely to express psycho-logic distress through physical symptoms8. Somatization of emotional problems has been found to be related to ethnic origin9,10, level of education7 and cultural background11,12, and has been claimed to be also common in Israel13. The prevalence of physiological complaints with no organic basis is greater among women of low socioeconomic status, most of Mideastern origin11 referred to psychiatric clinics they are commonly diagnosed as hysterical reaction, immature personality, hypochondriasis or psychosomatic9.


Psychological Distress Emotional Problem Organic Basis General Practitioners2 Coping Resource 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Uri Aviram
    • 1
  • Zeev Ben-Sira
    • 2
  • Ilana Shoham
    • 3
  • Ilse Stern
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Social WorkTel-Aviv UniversityTel-AvivIsrael
  2. 2.School of Social WorkHebrew University of Jerusalem and The Israel Institute of Applied Social ResearchJerusalemIsrael
  3. 3.The Institute of Applied Social ResearchJerusalemIsrael

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