Somatoform disorders in patients with chronic pain
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Medical Sciences
Objective: To assess the frequency and characteristics of somatoform disorders in patients with chronic pain. Method: The study took place in the psychiatric outpatient clinic of a rehabilitation hospital. Participants were interviewed using the World Health Organization Somatoform Disorders Schedule (WHO-SDS) version 2.0. Thirty new and 30 current attendees to the clinic were interviewed following referral by pain medicine specialists. Results: Somatoform disorders were commonly co-morbid with chronic pain in the study population. Persistent somatoform pain disorder (PSPD) was the commonest somatoform disorder. There was a significant difference between women and men suffering from somatic autonomic dysfunction (SAD). Conclusions: The findings of this study confirm that somatoform disorders are common co-morbid diagnoses in patients with chronic pain. Combining psychological treatments with medication, appropriate physical treatments and attending to social issues, may indeed improve the well-being of such patients.