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Type: Journal article
Title: Illness behaviour and somatization in general practice
Author: Scicchitano, J.
Lovell, P.
Pearce, R.
Marley, J.
Pilowsky, I.
Citation: Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 1996; 41(3):247-254
Issue Date: 1996
ISSN: 0022-3999
Statement of
J. Scicchitano, P. Lovell, R. Pearce, J. Marley and I. Pilowsky
Abstract: In the primary care setting, the early recognition that a patient has psychological problems is frequently hindered by the deceptive mode of presentation known as somatization. In a cross-sectional survey of patients attending suburban General Practitioners in a large metropolitan city, the General Health Questionnaire-30 (GHQ-30) and the Illness Behavior Questionnaire (IBQ) were completed by 201 patients. A comparison was made between somatizing and nonsomatizing patients with new inceptions of illness in terms of the risk of the presence of a mild nonpsychotic psychiatric illness and aspects of illness behavior. For the group as a whole, somatizing patients were more likely to be older and female. Male somatizers differed from male nonsomatizers by showing greater disease conviction and affective disturbance and more readiness to acknowledge difficulties in their lives other than health problems. No differences were found between female somatizing and nonsomatizing patients. We conclude that, while male patients who somatize psychological distress may be distinguished from male nonsomatizers early in their illness, in terms of their illness behavior, these differences are not seen as early distinguishing characteristics in female patients who present to their General Practitioners with physical problems for which no organic cause can be established
Keywords: Illness behavior; Primary care; Somatization
Description: Copyright © 1996 Published by Elsevier Science Inc.
RMID: 0030006032
DOI: 10.1016/0022-3999(96)00034-7
Appears in Collections:General Practice publications

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