Somatizing patients have been regarded by many authors to have a poor prognosis (Kellner, 1986). In outcome studies of psychotherapy they have been found to respond less well to conventional psychotherapy than patients with emotional symptoms (Rosenberg, 195A; Stone, Frank, Nash, and Imber, 1961) and generally have been judged to be poor candidates for psychotherapy. However, these views are in conflict with good outcomes reported in several uncontrolled studies of patients with functional somatic symptoms. For example, a large proportion of patients with benign chest pain (Cope, 1969) or neurocirculatory asthenia (Cohen and White, 1951), treated only with reassurance and explanation, apparently recovered. In general medical practice a substantial proportion of patients with functional somatic symptoms recover without specific treatments (Thomas, 1978).
KeywordsIrritable Bowel Syndrome Somatic Symptom Tension Headache Individual Psychotherapy General Medical Practice
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