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Non-specific abdominal pain (NSAP) is a common cause of urgent admission to surgical wards. We studied 80 such patients prospectively. NSAP was commonest in female patients under 30. The pain was localized in the right lower quadrant in 32 patients (40%) and in 56 (70%) the pain was aggravated by movement. Viral studies failed to show any abnormality except in one patient with raised acute and convalescent titres but three patients had raised antistreptolysin 0 titres. The psychological results demonstrated that the NSAP group had the same levels of anxiety and depression as the control group and also had no evidence of increased preceding life events.