Skilled interviewing and investigation are essential in the diagnosis and treatment of “psychosomatic” illness, the term “psychosomatic” being used in its more colloquial sense to refer to illness characterized by somatic symptoms and related psychopathologic disorders but without organic disease.
Treatment of these patients is difficult. They respond best to a psychologically oriented physician who is able and willing to take final responsibility for both physical and psychological care. The hazards of ignoring the psychosocial dimension in patient management are emphasized. Although the family physician generally is the most appropriate therapist, there may be a role for a “liaison physician”, a specially trained consultant who is thoroughly familiar with both physical and psychological processes and their interaction.
Further understanding in the field of psychosomatic medicine has come to light recently as the result of new approaches and methods of research.
Such diseases as hypertension, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, peptic ulcer, diabetes and cardiovascular dysfunction may represent the body's method of adapting to chronic stress, according to Selye's concept of the general adaptation syndrome, with the phases of alarm, resistance and exhaustion.
It has been postulated that unconscious dynamics of which patients are unaware are crucial in the understanding and interpretation of physiological research and therapy of patients with psychosomatic disorders.
The concept of partial regression was applicable to patients with psychosomatic illness who were highly successful in social, economic and professional spheres. The illness was viewed as a protection against psychological regression by limited somatic regression.
Pilot studies suggested that patients seriously ill with such disorders as ulcerative colitis and asthma responded favorably to enforced psychological regression and exploitation of dependency by excessive coddling, babying and mothering by an “all-giving” physician in a hospital setting.
Good physician-patient relationship remains the keystone in therapy and is the common denominator to many so-called successful modes of treatment.
This paper reviews some problems in the methodology of clinical psychosomatic research. Its emphasis is on elucidation of symptoms rather than on aetiology of disease and on diagnosis and treatment of known psychopathology, particularly mood disturbance, rather than on underlying speculative mechanisms. Reliability, sensitivity, and validity of measurements are considered to be the keys to advance of knowledge in this field. Samples of patients studied must be representative of a disease, and not of other factors which contribute bias to the observations. Account must be taken of the wide variability found in most measures required in psychosomatic patients, and hence of their lack of specificity to an individual patient.
Mental health issues are gaining in importance in society and the economic system. At the same time, the accessibility and stigmatisation of the mental health care system in Germany can obstruct help-seeking behavior and delay early psychotherapeutic interventions. Therefore, new models of care are being established at the interface of company-supported health promotion and conventional health insurance sponsored outpatient care for people developing mental illnesses. Two large industrial companies, in cooperation with two psychosomatic clinics, have recently established a model of “psychosomatic consultation in the workplace“. This new model of care offers the opportunity for a first psychotherapeutic door to door consultation with occupational medicine within the industrial workplace. The main empirical goals of this study are:
1) Describing the differences between patients who use this new diagnostic and therapeutic offer within the industrial workplace vs. patients who visit a conventional regional outpatient clinic, especially in regard to symptom duration and severity, work ability, and demographic characteristics, and
2) A first evaluation of how patients may benefit more from this new model of care compared to those first seen by standard outpatient care.
In the qualitative part of the study, occupational physicians, psychosomatic therapists, involved personnel and select employees of the involved companies will be asked to comment on their experiences with this new approach.
The implementation study will take place in Ulm and in Stuttgart, with each site looking at one regional conventional psychosomatic outpatient clinic and one psychosomatic consultation offer within the workplace. 70 consecutive patients in each setting will be recruited (overall n = 280). For the cross-sectional study and pre-post comparison we will use established and validated survey instruments (PHQ, SF-12, WAI, MBI, IS) as well as standardized questions about health care use. For data analysis, we will use uni- and multivariate analytical methods. Qualitative data analysis (expert interviews) will be carried out using Mayring’s content analysis method.
The results of this study have the potential to provide evidence-based knowledge about an innovative model of psychotherapeutic outpatient care and to further promote tailored solutions for early psychotherapeutic interventions within the worksite.
Company supported mental health care; Depression; Anxiety; Somatisation; Burnout syndrome; Qualitative design; Explorative study
Psychosomatic disorders such as tinnitus, acute hearing loss, attacks of dizziness, globus syndrome, dysphagias, voice disorders and many more are quite common in ear, nose and throat medicine. They are mostly caused by a number of factors, although the bio-psycho-social model does play an important role. Initial contact with a psychosomatically ill patient and compiling a first case history are important steps to psychosomatic oriented therapy. This contribution will sum up the most important otorhinolaryngological diseases with psychosomatic comorbidity and scientifically evaluated methods of treatment. The contribution will also introduce the reader to important psychosomatic treatment methods from psychotherapeutic relaxation techniques to talk therapy. To conclude, the contribution will discuss the criteria for outpatient as well as inpatient treatment and look at the advantages of psychosomatically oriented therapy, both for the patient and for the doctor.
psychosomatic illness; otorhinolaryngological disease; psychosomatic therapy; psychotherapy
Many patients with somatoform disorders are frequently encountered in psychosomatic clinics as well as in primary care clinics. To assess such patients objectively, the concept of somatosensory amplification may be useful. Somatosensory amplification refers to the tendency to experience a somatic sensation as intense, noxious, and disturbing. It may have a role in a variety of medical conditions characterized by somatic symptoms that are disproportionate to demonstrable organ pathology. It may also explain some of the variability in somatic symptomatology found among different patients with the same serious medical disorder. It has been assessed with a self-report questionnaire, the Somatosensory Amplification Scale. This instrument was developed in a clinical setting in the U.S., and the reliability and validity of the Japanese and Turkish versions have been confirmed as well.
Many studies have attempted to clarify the specific role of somatosensory amplification as a pathogenic mechanism in somatization. It has been reported that somatosensory amplification does not correlate with heightened sensitivity to bodily sensations and that emotional reactivity exerts its influence on somatization via a negatively biased reporting style. According to our recent electroencephalographic study, somatosensory amplification appears to reflect some aspects of long-latency cognitive processing rather than short-latency interoceptive sensitivity.
The concept of somatosensory amplification can be useful as an indicator of somatization in the therapy of a broad range of disorders, from impaired self-awareness to various psychiatric disorders. It also provides useful information for choosing appropriate pharmacological or psychological therapy. While somatosensory amplification has a role in the presentation of somatic symptoms, it is closely associated with other factors, namely, anxiety, depression, and alexithymia that may also influence the same. The specific role of somatosensory amplification with regard to both neurological and psychological function should be clarified in future studies. In this paper, we will explain the concept of amplification and describe its role in psychosomatic illness.
One hundred and seventeen randomly selected patients were assessed for different psychological variables (personality traits, wellbeing, and cognitive ability) in relation to somatic symptoms after common whiplash. Patients were investigated at an average of 7.4 (SD 4.2) days after trauma and again at three and six months. The course of recovery could not be explained by the patients' disposition. The results indicated that improvement in wellbeing was associated with recovery from somatic symptoms. There was, however, cognitive impairment in patients who suffered from symptoms. These findings support the view that the psychological and cognitive problems of patients with common whiplash are mainly related to somatic symptoms.
Many psychiatric problems present themselves under the guise of physical rather than mental symptoms.
These occur in several categories: (1) Psychological problems which work in conjunction with definitive organic pathology, such as the fear of death. (2) Symptoms produced by altered physiology or biochemistry resultant from an acute orchronic stress state. (3) A combination of A and B above. (4) Patients with an intense disease, such as hypochondriasis. (5) Psychiatric symptoms, such as depression, anxiety or apathy which develop antecedent or subsequent to a fearfully anticipated illness or procedure.
These patients have certain characteristics in common. (1) They manifest a disproportionate concern over symptoms. (2) The symptoms are inconsistent with the usual pattern of organic disease. (3) The onset is concurrent with states of conflict. (4) There is usually a personal and family history of psychic and psychosomatic disorders. (5) Other psychiatric disorders are usually present. (6) Secondary gain is usually evident.
These patients can be successfully treated within the hospital setting and within the framework of psychiatric consultation and psychotherapy.
A model calculation was used to assess whether the G-DRG version 1.0 sufficiently represents integrated internal psychosomatic treatment of patients with psychosomatic disorders in relation to diagnosis and resource consumption. The DRGs of the Major Diagnostic Category "Mental Diseases" of the German DRG calculation sample 1.0 (diagnoses, procedures, cost weights) were analyzed. In a division of psychosomatic medicine within a general internal department, proceeds regarding 241 patients treated between 01 Jan and 31 Dec 2002, calculated according to the G-DRG version 1.0, were compared to the costs accrued. The G-DRG version 1.0 includes 7 DRGs of psychosomatic disorders in internal medicine (excluding disorders due to substance abuse). Assuming a base rate of € 2,900, the total proceeds of the G-DRG Version 1.0 exceeded the costs (+ € 57,971 /year).
Few studies have been published on health care utilization in Crohn's disease and the influence of psychological treatment on high utilizers.
The present sub study of a prospective multi center investigation conducted in 87 of 488 consecutive Crohn's disease (CD) patients was designed to investigate the influence of the course of Crohn's disease on health care utilization (hospital days (HD) and sick leave days (SLD) collected by German insurance companies) and to examine the conditions of high-utilizing patients. Predictors of health care utilization should be selected. Based on a standardized somatic treatment, high health care utilizing patients of the psychotherapy and control groups should be compared before and after a one-year treatment.
Multivariate regression analysis identified disease activity at randomization as an important predictor of the clinical course (r2 = 0.28, p < 0.01). Health care utilization correlated with duration of disease (p < 0.04), but the model was not significant (r2 = 0.15, p = 0.09). The patients' level of anxiety, depression and lack of control at randomization predicted their health-related quality of life at the end of the study (r2 = 0.51, p < 0.00001). Interestingly, steroid intake and depression (t1) predicted the combined outcome measure (clinical course, HRQL, health care utilization) of Crohn's disease at the end of the study (r2 = 0.22, p < 0.001).
Among high utilizers, a significantly greater drop in HD (p < 0.03) and in mean in SLD were found in the treatment compared to the control group.
The course of Crohn's disease is influenced by psychological as well as somatic factors; especially depression seems important here. A significant drop of health care utilization demonstrates the benefit of psychological treatment in the subgroup of high-utilizing CD patients. Further studies are needed to replicate the findings of the clinical outcome in this CD subgroup.
The increase of psychosomatic disorders due to cultural changes requires enhanced therapeutic models. This study investigated a salutogenetic treatment concept for inpatient psychosomatic treatment, based on data from more than 11000 patients of a psychosomatic clinic in Germany. The clinic aims at supporting patients' health improvement by fostering values such as humanity, community, and mindfulness. Most of patients found these values realized in the clinical environment. Self-assessment questionnaires addressing physical and mental health as well as symptom ratings were available for analysis of pre-post-treatment effects and long-term stability using one-year follow-up data, as well as for a comparison with other clinics. With respect to different diagnoses, symptoms improved in self-ratings with average effect sizes between 0.60 and 0.98. About 80% of positive changes could be sustained as determined in a 1-year follow-up survey. Patients with a lower concordance with the values of the clinic showed less health improvement. Compared to 14 other German psychosomatic clinics, the investigated treatment concept resulted in slightly higher decrease in symptoms (e.g., depression scale) and a higher self-rated mental and physical improvement in health. The data suggest that a successfully implemented salutogenetic clinical treatment concept not only has positive influence on treatment effects but also provides long-term stability.
Goals, potentialities and limitations of treatment of psychosomatic disorders are reviewed. Removal of a disturbing psychosomatic symptom may be all that can be accomplished. The bulk of patients suffering from psychosomatic disorders should be treated by physicians other than psychiatrists. Difficulties arise, owing to differences in approach, when treatment is carried out by a general physician as well as a psychiatrist. In appraising the prospects of treatment, the age on examination, intelligence, duration of illness, degree of insight, nature of illness, environmental stress and personality structure of the patients should be considered. Psychiatric measures which have been employed include: electroconvulsive therapy, psychotropic drugs, hypnosis, drug abreaction, group therapy, supportive psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis provides the best understanding of the psychodynamics of psychosomatic illness but is, for a variety of reasons, applicable only to a small number of patients. Alternations and removal of disturbing symptoms can be accomplished by the other therapeutic means.
In this article, we review the differences between momentary, retrospective, and trait self-report techniques and discuss the unique role that ambulatory reports of momentary experience play in psychosomatic medicine. Following a brief historical review of self-report techniques, we discuss the latest perspective which links ambulatory self-reports to a qualitatively different conscious self – the ‘experiencing self’– which is functionally and neuroanatomically different from the ‘remembering’ and ‘believing’ selves measured through retrospective and trait questionnaires. The experiencing self functions to navigate current environments and is relatively more tied to the salience network and corporeal information from the body that regulates autonomic processes. As evidence, we review research showing that experiences measured through ambulatory assessment have stronger associations with cardiovascular reactivity, cortisol response, immune system function, and threat/reward biomarkers compared to memories or beliefs. By contrast, memories and beliefs play important roles in decision making and long-term planning, but they are less tied to bodily processes and more tied to default/long-term memory networks, which minimizes their sensitivity for certain research questions. We conclude with specific recommendations for using self-report questionnaires in psychosomatic medicine and suggest that intensive ambulatory assessment of experiences may provide greater sensitivity for connecting psychological with biological processes.
ecological momentary assessment; PANAS; emotion; memory bias; stress; questionnaires
This article introduces key concepts of work-related stress relevant to the clinical and research fields of psychosomatic medicine. Stress is a term used to describe the body's physiological and/or psychological reaction to circumstances that require behavioral adjustment. According to the Japanese National Survey of Health, the most frequent stressors are work-related problems, followed by health-related and then financial problems. Conceptually, work-related stress includes a variety of conditions, such as overwork, unemployment or job insecurity, and lack of work-family balance. Job stress has been linked to a range of adverse physical and mental health outcomes, such as cardiovascular disease, insomnia, depression, and anxiety. Stressful working conditions can also impact employee well-being indirectly by directly contributing to negative health behaviors or by limiting an individual's ability to make positive changes to lifestyle behaviors, such as smoking and sedentary behavior. Over the past two decades, two major job stress models have dominated the occupational health literature: the job demand-control-support model and the effort-reward imbalance model. In both models, standardized questionnaires have been developed and frequently used to assess job stress. Unemployment has also been reported to be associated with increased mortality and morbidity, such as by cardiovascular disease, stroke, and suicide. During the past two decades, a trend toward more flexible labor markets has emerged in the private and public sectors of developed countries, and temporary employment arrangements have increased. Temporary workers often complain that they are more productive but receive less compensation than permanent workers. A significant body of research reveals that temporary workers have reported chronic work-related stress for years. The Japanese government has urged all employers to implement four approaches to comprehensive mind/body health care for stress management in the workplace: focusing on individuals, utilizing supervisory lines, enlisting company health care staff, and referring to medical resources outside the company. Good communications between occupational health practitioners and physicians in charge in hospitals/clinics help employees with psychosomatic distress to return to work, and it is critical for psychosomatic practitioners and researchers to understand the basic ideas of work-related stress from the viewpoint of occupational health.
The primary purpose of this manuscript is to provide an overview of multilevel modeling for Psychosomatic Medicine readers and contributors. The manuscript begins with a general introduction to multilevel modeling. Multilevel regression modeling at two-levels is emphasized because of its prevalence in psychosomatic medicine research. Simulated datasets based on some core ideas from the Familias Unidas effectiveness study are used to illustrate key concepts including: communication of model specification, parameter interpretation, sample size and power, and missing data. Input and key output files from Mplus and SAS are provided. A cluster randomized trial with repeated measures (i.e., three-level regression model) is then briefly presented with simulated data based on some core ideas from a cognitive behavioral stress management intervention in prostate cancer.
mixed regression models; random coefficient models; hierarchical linear models; centering; power; missing data
There are four lines of development that might be called psychosomatic principles. The first represents the work initiated by Claude Bernard, Cannon, and others, in neurophysiology and endocrinology in relationship to stress. The second is the application of psychoanalytic formulations to the understanding of illness. The third is in the development of the social sciences, particularly anthropology, social psychology and sociology with respect to the emotional life of man, and, fourth, there is an increased application of epidemiological techniques to the understanding and incidence of disease and its causes. These principles can be applied to the concepts of comprehensive medicine and they bid fair to be unifying and helpful in its study. This means that future practitioners, as well as those working in the field of psychosomatic medicine, are going to have to have a much more precise knowledge of the influence of emotions on bodily processes.
In an evolutionary model, health and disease are regarded as
successful and respectively failed adaptation to the demands of
the environment. The social factors are critical for a
successful adaptation, while emotions are means of both signaling
the organism's state and of adapting the physiological responses
to environmental challenges. Hence the importance of a
biopsychosocial model of health and disease. Psychoemotional
distress generates and/or amplifies somatic symptoms. Somatization may
be viewed as an altered cognitive process, inclining the individual to
an augmented perception of bodily sensations and to an increased degree
of complexity in reporting negative experiences (hence the
greater cognitive effort allocated thereto). Somatosensory
amplification and alexithymia are key elements in this process.
The brain's right hemisphere is more involved in the generation
of emotionally conditioned somatization symptoms. Somatic symptoms
have various psychological and social functions and are strongly
influenced by the particular belief system of the
individual. Inappropriately perceiving the environment as an aggressor
and excessively responding to it (by activating the cytokine system
in correlation with the arousal of the psychic, nervous, and
endocrine systems) may be a key element in the altered cognition
conducive to ill health.
somatoform disorders; unexplained physical symptoms; somatization; amplification; alexithymia; cognitive model; cytokine
By mid adolescence there is an excess in female physical and/or psychosomatic, as well as psychological morbidity. This paper examines the contribution of a range of factors (self-esteem, body image, gender-role orientation, body mass index, smoking and physical activity) to explaining the female excess in three psychosomatic symptoms (headaches, stomach ache/sickness, and dizziness) and depressive mood at age 15.
A cohort of 2,196 school pupils (analyses restricted to 2,005 with complete data) surveyed at age 15. All measures were obtained via self-completion questionnaires, apart from body mass index, derived from measured height and weight. Analyses examined (a) sex differences in each potential explanatory factor; (b) their associations with the health measures; (c) the effect of adjustment for these factors on sex differences in the health measures; and (d) the existence of interactive effects between sex and the explanatory factors on the health measures
Each potential explanatory factor was significantly differentiated by sex. Self-esteem, body image (represented by weight-related worries), smoking and physical activity were related to the health measures. These factors accounted for one third of the female excess in headaches and stomach problems, half the excess in dizziness and almost all that in respect of depressive mood. Self-esteem and body image were the factors most consistently related to health, and adjustment for these resulted in the largest reductions in the odds of a female excess in both the psychosomatic symptoms and depressive mood.
Adjustment for a range of potential psychosocial and behavioural factors largely explains (statistically) excess female depressive mood. These factors also partially explain the female excess in certain psychosomatic symptoms.
Type D personality, or the “distressed personality”, is a psychosocial factor associated with negative health outcomes, although its impact in younger populations is unclear. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of Type D personality and the associations between Type D personality and psychosomatic symptoms and musculoskeletal pain among adolescences.
A population-based, self-reported cross-sectional study conducted in Västmanland, Sweden with a cohort of 5012 students in the age between 15–18 years old. The participants completed the anonymous questionnaire Survey of Adolescent Life in Västmanland 2008 during class hour. Psychosomatic symptoms and musculoskeletal pain were measured through index measuring the presence of symptoms and how common they were. DS14 and its two component subscales of negative affectivity (NA) and social inhibition (SI) were measured as well.
There was a difference depending on sex, where 10.4% among boys and 14.6% among girls (p = < 0.001) were defined as Type D personality. Boys and girls with a Type D personality had an approximately 2-fold increased odds of musculoskeletal pain and a 5-fold increased odds of psychosomatic symptoms. The subscale NA explained most of the relationship between Type D personality and psychosomatic symptoms and musculoskeletal pain. No interaction effect of NA and SI was found.
There was a strong association between Type D personality and both psychosomatic symptoms and musculoskeletal pain where adolescent with a type D personality reported more symptoms. The present study contributes to the mapping of the influence of Type D on psychosomatic symptoms and musculoskeletal pain among adolescents.
Adolescents; Musculoskeletal pain; Negative affectivity; Psychosomatic symptoms; Social inhibition; Type D personality
Two major aspects of the climacteric in women are endocrinological changes with their effects upon the sympathetic nervous system, and psychological factors leading to anxiety with its effect upon the sympathetic nervous system. Depending upon the circumstances in each case, the interruption of the vicious cycle thereby established may require hormonal therapy, psychotherapy, or both. The mere correction of hormonal imbalance may fall far short of effective treatment.
In Japan and Asia, few studies have been done of physical and sexual abuse. This study was aimed to determine whether a history of childhood physical abuse is associated with anxiety, depression and self-injurious behavior in outpatients with psychosomatic symptoms.
We divided 564 consecutive new outpatients at the Department of Psychosomatic Medicine of Kyushu University Hospital into two groups: a physically abused group and a non-abused group. Psychological test scores and the prevalence of self-injurious behavior were compared between the two groups.
A history of childhood physical abuse was reported by patients with depressive disorders(12.7%), anxiety disorders(16.7%), eating disorders (16.3%), pain disorders (10.8%), irritable bowel syndrome (12.5%), and functional dyspepsia(7.5%). In both the patients with depressive disorders and those with anxiety disorders, STAI-I (state anxiety) and STAI-II (trait anxiety) were higher in the abused group than in the non-abused group (p < 0.05).
In the patients with depressive disorders, the abused group was younger than the non-abused group (p < 0.05). The prevalence of self-injurious behavior of the patients with depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and pain disorders was higher in the abused groups than in the non-abused groups (p < 0.005).
A history of childhood physical abuse is associated with psychological distress such as anxiety, depression and self-injurious behavior in outpatients with psychosomatic symptoms. It is important for physicians to consider the history of abuse in the primary care of these patients.
An innovative educational approach to psychosomatic illness in family practice has been developed. It is a synthesis of experiential methods of non-verbal communication and creativity training developed from psychotronic applications of biofeedback, humanistic psychology and eidetics. The methodology, called eidetic biofeedback, operates on non-traditional models of human potential and involves a holistic approach to the mind-body/environment relationship. The methods work by transferring the responsibility for health back to the awareness of the individual.
Of 200 office practice patients, 60 percent achieved major changes in personality integration and vitality. This was reflected in cessation of the presenting complaint, without symptom substitution and diminished demand for clinical services.
Pruritus and psyche are intricately and reciprocally related, with psychophysiological evidence and psychopathological explanations helping us to understand their complex association. Their interaction may be conceptualized and classified into 3 groups: pruritic diseases with psychiatric sequelae, pruritic diseases aggravated by psychosocial factors, and psychiatric disorders causing pruritus. Management of chronic pruritus is directed at treating the underlying causes and adopting a multidisciplinary approach to address the dermatologic, somatosensory, cognitive, and emotional aspects. Pharmcotherapeutic agents that are useful for chronic pruritus with comorbid depression and/or anxiety comprise selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, mirtazapine, tricyclic antidepressants (amitriptyline and doxepin), and anticonvulsants (gabapentin, pregabalin); the role of neurokinin receptor-1 antagonists awaits verification. Antipsychotics are required for treating itch and formication associated with schizophrenia and delusion of parasitosis (including Morgellons disease).
Among women genital malignancies are second in frequency only to breast cancer. Primary disease sites include the endometrium, cervix, ovary, and vulva. With early diagnosis and aggressive therapy, two-thirds of these women will survive for at least 5 years. This encouraging prognosis is in contrast to the distress that may be experienced by women during diagnosis, treatment, and recovery periods. A brief review of major avenues of current research and clinical work is provided, including; psychological responses to gynecologic cancer symptomatology; affective distress; sexual problems; and treatment-related distress. Areas for future investigation are highlighted, including difficulties occurring with disease recurrence; disruption of close relationships; and problems of the elderly woman with cancer.
The connection between psychopathology and tinnitus is complex and not adequately studied. The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between tinnitus and psychiatric comorbidities from different points of view: categorical, dimensional, temperamental, and perceived stress level.
Two hundred and thirty-nine patients affected by tinnitus were recruited between January and October 2012. Patients underwent a preliminary battery of tests including the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI), Symptom Check List (SCL90-R), Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), and Stress-Related Vulnerability Scale (VRS), and eventually a full psychiatric evaluation.
One hundred and fourteen patients (48% of the total sample) presented psychiatric comorbidity. Among these, a higher prevalence of depression, somatization, obsession, and anxiety was found. More than 41% of patients affected by decompensated tinnitus reported a family history of psychiatric disorders. Significant positive correlations between the psychopathological screening tools (SCL90-R and VRS) and THI were found. Patients affected by comorbid psychiatric disorder showed specific temperamental and characterial predispositions.
Psychiatric comorbidity in subjects affected by tinnitus is frequent. Stress can be considered as a factor leading to damage and dysfunction of the auditory apparatus. The vulnerability to neurotic disorders and the lack of coping capabilities can play a critical role in the clinical history of patients affected by severe tinnitus.
tinnitus; psychosomatics; stress; psychopathological dimensions; personality