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1.  Therapeutic methods for psychosomatic disorders in oto-rhino-laryngology 
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.
PMCID: PMC3200998  PMID: 22073069
psychosomatic illness; otorhinolaryngological disease; psychosomatic therapy; psychotherapy
2.  Younger and older chronic somatoform pain patients in psycho-diagnostics, physician-patient relationship and treatment outcome 
Patients with chronic pain are found with highly variable clinical presentation and differing physical complaints. They are seen as a heterogenic group. Based on clinical observations, elderly patients seem to differ from younger patients with chronic pain. We examined whether there were systematic differences between young and old pain patients.
As part of a routine evaluation of university hospital care, a newly developed psychosomatic treatment model for chronic somatoform pain disorders was examined. The basis for treatment efficacy was a target-oriented, specific somatic and psychological intervention that included a stable physician-patient relationship. Particular attention was paid to differences in treatment outcome with regard to changes in both physical and psychopathological symptom levels. We hypothesised that younger pain patients had higher psychological burden and benefitted more from our treatment than older pain patients.
Overall, 179 inpatients (57.5% women) with chronic pain were examined (age between 16 and 79 years). The group as a whole yielded high scores on the somatisation dimension (SCL-90) and showed a considerable amount of psychopathological symptoms, such as depressive mood and anxiety (HADS) and a great emotional instability (FPI-R). Age differences were only found with regards to patients’ degree of aggression (SCl-90): younger patients showed higher aggressive tendencies than older ones (p< 0.05). The treatment offered helped patients in both age groups especially with regard to reduction of depressive mood (HADS, p< 0.01) and anxiety levels (HADS, p< 0.01). Regression analysis showed different age groups and gender as significant predictors of anxiety reduction under therapy (R2=.108; model: p< 0.01).
Discussion and conclusion
Results show that younger chronic pain patients suffer more from a considerable amount of psychological distress than older ones, but our treatment approach was equally effective in both groups. However, age and gender differences, as well as the patient’s baseline level of anxiety influenced the outcome. These factors need to be studied in future research.
PMCID: PMC3573985  PMID: 23379640
Chronic somatoform pain; Age; Psychosomatic in-patient treatment; Attachment style
3.  Psychosomatic syndromes and anorexia nervosa 
BMC Psychiatry  2013;13:14.
In spite of the role of some psychosomatic factors as alexithymia, mood intolerance, and somatization in both pathogenesis and maintenance of anorexia nervosa (AN), few studies have investigated the prevalence of psychosomatic syndromes in AN. The aim of this study was to use the Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosomatic Research (DCPR) to assess psychosomatic syndromes in AN and to evaluate if psychosomatic syndromes could identify subgroups of AN patients.
108 AN inpatients (76 AN restricting subtype, AN-R, and 32 AN binge-purging subtype, AN-BP) were consecutively recruited and psychosomatic syndromes were diagnosed with the Structured Interview for DCPR. Participants were asked to complete psychometric tests: Body Shape Questionnaire, Beck Depression Inventory, Eating Disorder Inventory–2, and Temperament and Character Inventory. Data were submitted to cluster analysis.
Illness denial (63%) and alexithymia (54.6%) resulted to be the most common syndromes in our sample. Cluster analysis identified three groups: moderate psychosomatic group (49%), somatization group (26%), and severe psychosomatic group (25%). The first group was mainly represented by AN-R patients reporting often only illness denial and alexithymia as DCPR syndromes. The second group showed more severe eating and depressive symptomatology and frequently DCPR syndromes of the somatization cluster. Thanatophobia DCPR syndrome was also represented in this group. The third group reported longer duration of illness and DCPR syndromes were highly represented; in particular, all patients were found to show the alexithymia DCPR syndrome.
These results highlight the need of a deep assessment of psychosomatic syndromes in AN. Psychosomatic syndromes correlated differently with both severity of eating symptomatology and duration of illness: therefore, DCPR could be effective to achieve tailored treatments.
PMCID: PMC3556145  PMID: 23302180
Anorexia nervosa; Eating disorders; Psychosomatic syndromes; Illness denial; Alexithymia
4.  Response of spinal myoclonus to a combination therapy of autogenic training and biofeedback 
Clinical evidence indicates that certain types of movement disorders are due to psychosomatic factors. Patients with myoclonic movements are usually treated by a variety of therapeutic agents. Autogenic training (AT), a recognized form of psychosomatic therapies, is suitable for certain types of neurological diseases. We describe a patient with myoclonus who failed to respond to conventional medical therapy. His symptoms were exaggerated by psychogenic factors, especially anger.
Case presentation
A 42-year-old man was admitted to our hospital, Preventive Welfare Clinic, for severe paroxysmal axial myoclonus of the left shoulder and abdominal muscles. The initial diagnosis was "combination of spinal segmental myoclonus and propriospinal myoclonus". The myoclonic movements did not occur during sleep but were aggravated by bathing, alcohol drinking, and anger. Psychological examination indicated hostile attribution. Although considered not to be a case of psychogenic myoclonus, a "psychogenic factor" was definitely involved in the induction of the organic myoclonus. The final diagnosis was "combination of spinal segmental myoclonus and propriospinal myoclonus accompanied by features of psychosomatic disorders". The patient underwent psychosomatic therapy including AT and surface electromyography (EMG)-biofeedback therapy and treatment with clonazepam and carbamazepine.
AT and EMG-biofeedback resulted in shortening the duration and reducing the amplitude and frequency of the myoclonic discharges.
Psychosomatic therapy with AT and surface EMG-biofeedback produced excellent improvement of myoclonic movements and allowed the reduction of the dosage of conventional medications.
PMCID: PMC2173903  PMID: 17931427
California Medicine  1952;77(6):401-405.
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.
PMCID: PMC1521534  PMID: 13009503
6.  Translation and validation of Portuguese of a questionnaire for evaluation of psychosomatic symptoms in adults with atopic dermatitis*  
Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia  2014;89(5):763-769.
atopic dermatitis is directly related to psychological stress, reduced quality of life and psychosomatic symptoms. The Psychosomatic Scale for Atopic Dermatitis is the only questionnaire developed specifically for assessment of psychosomatization in atopic dermatitis.
the objective of this study was to cross-culturally adapt and validate a Brazilian-Portuguese version of the Psychosomatic Scale for Atopic Dermatitis.
adaptation consisted of independent translation and backtranslation by three bilingual translators, followed by a pre-test. The Psychosomatic Scale for Atopic Dermatitis and the Dermatology Life Quality Index were self-administered to 47 patients with atopic dermatitis. Disease severity was evaluated using the Eczema Area and Severity Index. Factor analysis was used to identify the dimensions of the Brazilian Portuguese version of the Psychosomatic Scale for Atopic Dermatitis. Internal consistency and convergence validity were also analyzed. Reproducibility was assessed using the Kappa coefficient.
factor analysis revealed a two-dimensional structure: stress/laziness/insecurity (I) and maladjustment/social relationships (II), explaining 54.4% of total variance. All dimensions revealed excellent internal consistency. External construct validity was confirmed by positive correlations between the Psychosomatic Scale for Atopic Dermatitis and the Dermatology Life Quality Index. Test-retest reliability was excellent, with k>0.7 for all questions.
the Brazilian Portuguese version of the Psychosomatic Scale for Atopic Dermatitis demonstrated acceptable psychometric properties and can be used for the evaluation of psychosomatic symptoms in patients with atopic dermatitis and as a tool in clinical and epidemiological research.
PMCID: PMC4155955  PMID: 25184916
Cost of illness; Dermatitis, atopic; Questionnaires; Stress, physiological; Stress, psychological; Validation studies
7.  Results of a psychosomatic training program in China, Vietnam and Laos: successful cross-cultural transfer of a postgraduate training program for medical doctors 
With the “ASIA-LINK” program, the European Community has supported the development and implementation of a curriculum of postgraduate psychosomatic training for medical doctors in China, Vietnam and Laos. Currently, these three countries are undergoing great social, economic and cultural changes. The associated psychosocial stress has led to increases in psychological and psychosomatic problems, as well as disorders for which no adequate medical or psychological care is available, even in cities. Health care in these three countries is characterized by the coexistence of Western medicine and traditional medicine. Psychological and psychosomatic disorders and problems are insufficiently recognized and treated, and there is a need for biopsychosocially orientated medical care. Little is known about the transferability of Western-oriented psychosomatic training programs in the Southeast Asian cultural context.
The curriculum was developed and implemented in three steps: 1) an experimental phase to build a future teacher group; 2) a joint training program for future teachers and German teachers; and 3) training by Asian trainers that was supervised by German teachers. The didactic elements included live patient interviews, lectures, communication skills training and Balint groups. The training was evaluated using questionnaires for the participants and interviews of the German teachers and the future teachers.
Regional training centers were formed in China (Shanghai), Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City and Hue) and Laos (Vientiane). A total of 200 physicians completed the training, and 30 physicians acquired the status of future teacher. The acceptance of the training was high, and feelings of competence increased during the courses. The interactive training methods were greatly appreciated, with the skills training and self-experience ranked as the most important topics. Adaptations to the cultural background of the participants were necessary for the topics of “breaking bad news,” the handling of negative emotions, discontinuities in participation, the hierarchical doctor-patient relationship, culture-specific syndromes and language barriers. In addition to practical skills for daily clinical practice, the participants wanted to learn more about didactic teaching methods. Half a year after the completion of the training program, the participants stated that the program had a great impact on their daily medical practice.
The training in psychosomatic medicine for postgraduate medical doctors resulted in a positive response and is an important step in addressing the barriers in providing psychosomatic primary care. The transferability of western concepts should be tested locally, and adaptations should be undertaken where necessary. The revised curriculum forms the basis of training in psychosomatic medicine and psychotherapy for medical students and postgraduate doctors in China, Vietnam and Laos.
PMCID: PMC3546304  PMID: 22929520
Psychosomatic medicine; Curriculum; Teaching of teachers; China; Vietnam; Laos
8.  “Psychosomatic consultation in the workplace” – a new model of care at the interface of company-supported mental health care and consultation-liaison psychosomatics: design of a mixed methods implementation study 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:780.
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.
Trial Registration
PMCID: PMC3515463  PMID: 22974257
Company supported mental health care; Depression; Anxiety; Somatisation; Burnout syndrome; Qualitative design; Explorative study
9.  Mental status in patients with chronic bacterial prostatitis 
Chronic prostatitis is a widespread urological disease with a lengthy course and a propensity to frequent recurrences. Adequate response to anti–inflammatory therapy is lacking in a high percentage of patients, which causes them to seek medical advice from different doctors. Thus, the physicians are challenged to look for other reasons causing the pathological symptoms.
Material and methods
We have reviewed the patients with treatment–resistant chronic bacterial prostatitis (CBP) from the perspective of psychosomatic medicine. For the evaluation of primary mental status and treatment control we used standard approved questionnaires. All 337 CBP patients initially underwent therapy aimed at pathogen eradication. If psychopathological symptoms were evident and dominated over urological ones, the patients were referred to psychiatric evaluation and treatment.
The frequency of concomitant psychosomatic disorders (PSD) in patients with CBP was 28.2% and neurotic disorders – 26.4%. Adequate multimodal anti–inflammatory therapy followed by a few sessions of psychotherapy decreased the manifestations of PSD in 30.5%, neurotic disorders in 51.7%, and premature ejaculation in 60.5% of patients with CBP. The addition of pharmacotherapy to psychotherapy is effective in treatment–resistant cases. However, after multimodal treatment, 31.5% of pts. with PSD and 13.5% of pts. with neurotic disorders still remain treatment–resistant and required in–depth long–term psychiatric care.
A significant portion of CBP patients were diagnosed with neurotic, psychosomatic, and/or depressive disorders.
Antibacterial and anti–inflammatory therapy, when followed by appropriate psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy, significantly decrease the manifestations of mental disorders in CBP patients.
PMCID: PMC3921839  PMID: 24579003
chronic bacterial prostatitis; mental status; psychosomatic disorders; premature ejaculation
10.  Psychosomatic Principles 
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.
PMCID: PMC1927815  PMID: 14259334
11.  Psychosomatic problems and countermeasures in Japanese children and adolescents 
In Japan there are a number of children and adolescents with emotion-related disorders including psychosomatic diseases (orthostatic dysregulation, anorexia nervosa, recurrent pains), behavior problems and school absenteeism. According to our previous report, the Japanese children had significantly higher score of physical symptoms and psychiatric complaints than did the Swedish children, and these were more strongly influenced by school-related stress than by home-related stress. To enforce countermeasures for psychosomatic problems in children, the Japanese Society of Psychosomatic Pediatrics (established in 1982) have started several new projects including multi-center psychosomatic researches and society-based activities. In this article, we present an outline of our study on mental health in Japanese children in comparison with Swedish children. Countermeasures including clinical guidelines for child psychosomatic diseases are reviewed and discussed.
PMCID: PMC3362750  PMID: 22433184
Psychosomatic disease; Orthostatic dysregulation; Anorexia nervosa; School absenteeism; Migraine
12.  Psychopathological aspects of kidney transplantation: Efficacy of a multidisciplinary team 
World Journal of Transplantation  2014;4(4):267-275.
Renal transplantation is a well established treatment for end-stage renal disease, allowing most patients to return to a satisfactory quality of life. Studies have identified many problems that may affect adaptation to the transplanted condition and post-operative compliance. The psychological implications of transplantation have important consequences even on strictly physical aspects. Organ transplantation is very challenging for the patient and acts as an intense stressor stimulus to which the patient reacts with neurotransmitter and endocrine-metabolic changes. Transplantation can result in a psychosomatic crisis that requires the patient to mobilize all bio-psycho-social resources during the process of adaptation to the new foreign organ which may result in an alteration in self-representation and identity, with possible psychopathologic repercussions. These reactions are feasible in mental disorders, e.g., post-traumatic stress disorder, adjustment disorder, and psychosomatic disorders. In organ transplantation, the fruitful collaboration between professionals with diverse scientific expertise, calls for both a guarantee for mental health and greater effectiveness in challenging treatments for a viable association between patients, family members and doctors. Integrated and multidisciplinary care should include uniform criteria and procedures for standard assessments, for patient autonomy, adherence to therapy, new coping strategies and the adoption of more appropriate lifestyles.
PMCID: PMC4274596  PMID: 25540735
Psychiatric consultation; Psychological care; Kidney transplantation; Therapeutic compliance; Social and family support
13.  Problematic Internet use in Chinese adolescents and its relation to psychosomatic symptoms and life satisfaction 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:802.
Problematic Internet use (PIU) is a growing problem in Chinese adolescents. Little is known about associations of PIU with physical and psychological health. This study was designed to investigate the prevalence of PIU and to test the relationships between PIU and psychosomatic symptoms and life satisfaction among adolescents in mainland China.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted comprising a large representative sample of 17 599 students in eight cities of China. PIU was assessed by the 20-item Young Internet Addiction Test (YIAT). The Multidimensional Sub-health Questionnaire of Adolescents and the Multidimensional Students' Life Satisfaction Scale were administered to obtain information on psychosomatic symptoms and life satisfaction. Demographics and Internet usage patterns were also collected. Logistic regression was used to assess the effects of PIU on psychosomatic symptoms and life satisfaction.
Approximately 8.1% of subjects showed PIU. Adolescents with PIU were associated with males, high school students, urban, eastern and western areas, upper self-report family economy, service type mostly used for entertainment and relieving loneliness and more frequency of Internet use. Compared with normal Internet users, adolescents with PIU were more likely to suffer from psychosomatic symptoms (P < 0.001), including lack of physical energy (P < 0.001), physiological dysfunction (P < 0.001), weakened immunity (P < 0.001), emotional symptoms (P < 0.001), behavioural symptoms (P < 0.001) and social adaptation problems (P < 0.001). Adolescents with PIU had lower scores on total and all dimensions of life satisfaction (all P < 0.001). Adjusted for the demographic and Internet-related factors, there was positive significant relationship between PIU and psychosomatic symptoms, but negatively related to life satisfaction.
PIU is common among Chinese students, and PIU was significantly associated with psychosomatic symptoms and life satisfaction. Effective measures are needed to prevent the spread of this problem and interventions to prevent the effects of PIU on psychosomatic symptoms and life satisfaction should be conducted as early as possible.
PMCID: PMC3214169  PMID: 21995654
14.  Work-related stress and psychosomatic medicine 
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.
PMCID: PMC2882896  PMID: 20504368
15.  The Subject, Its Biology, and the Chronic Recurrent Cystitis 
Case Reports in Psychiatry  2012;2012:601705.
Functional disorders in urology are troubling for both patients and physicians. Moreover, advances in recent research promise to provide biological insights into psycho-neuro-endocrino-immunological pathways that are one important facet of chronic urogenital inflammations. We present a case of a middle-aged woman with long-lasting recurrent cystitis for which especially a psychosomatic approach helped to understand and cure the disorder. Altogether, as practitioners treat subjects, not illnesses, a biopsychosocial understanding of human disease should be taken into account in cases of chronic recurrent cystitis.
PMCID: PMC3420663  PMID: 22934220
16.  Somatic comorbidity in anorexia nervosa: First results of a 21-year follow-up study on female inpatients 
Anorexia nervosa is a severe psychosomatic disease with somatic complications in the long-term course and a high mortality rate. Somatic comorbidities independent of anorexia nervosa have rarely been studied, but pose a challenge to clinical practitioners. We investigated somatic comorbidities in an inpatient cohort and compared somatically ill anorexic patients and patients without a somatic comorbidity. In order to evaluate the impact of somatic comorbidity for the long-term course of anorexia nervosa, we monitored survival in a long-term follow-up.
One hundred and sixty-nine female inpatients with anorexia nervosa were treated at the Charité University Medical Centre, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Berlin, between 1979 and 2011. We conducted retrospective analyses using patient's medical and psychological records. Information on survival and mortality were required through the local registration office and was available for one hundred patients. The mean follow-up interval for this subgroup was m = 20.9 years (sd = 4.7, min = 13.3, max = 31.6, range = 18.3). We conducted survival analysis using cox regression and included somatic comorbidity in a multivariate model.
N = 41 patients (24.3%) showed a somatic comorbidity, n = 13 patients (7.7%) showed somatic comorbidities related to anorexia nervosa and n = 26 patients (15.4%) showed somatic comorbidities independent of anorexia nervosa, n = 2 patients showed somatic complications related to other psychiatric disorders. Patients with a somatic comorbidity were significantly older (m = 29.5, sd = 10.3 vs m = 25.0, sd = 8.7; p = .006), showed a later anorexia nervosa onset (m = 24.8, sd = 9.9 vs. m = 18.6, sd = 5.1; p < .000) and a longer duration of treatment in our clinic (m = 66.6, sd = 50.3 vs. m = 50.0, sd = 47; p = .05) than inpatients without somatic comorbidity. Out of 100 patients, 9 patients (9%) had died, on average at age of m = 37 years (sd = 9.5). Mortality was more common among inpatients with somatic comorbidity (n = 6, 66.7%) than among inpatients without a somatic disease (n = 3, 33.3%; p = .03). Somatic comorbidity was a significant coefficient in a multivariate survival model (B = 2.32, p = .04).
Somatic comorbidity seems to be an important factor for anorexia nervosa outcome and should be included in multivariate analyses on the long-term course of anorexia nervosa as an independent variable. Further investigations are needed in order to understand in which way anorexia nervosa and a somatic disease can interact.
PMCID: PMC3299644  PMID: 22300749
anorexia nervosa; long-term course; somatic comorbidity; mortality
17.  Functional near-infrared spectroscopy studies in children 
Psychosomatic and developmental behavioral medicine in pediatrics has been the subject of significant recent attention, with infants, school-age children, and adolescents frequently presenting with psychosomatic, behavioral, and psychiatric symptoms. These may be a consequence of insecurity of attachment, reduced self-confidence, and peer -relationship conflicts during their developmental stages. Developmental cognitive neuroscience has revealed significant associations between specific brain lesions and particular cognitive dysfunctions. Thus, identifying the biological deficits underlying such cognitive dysfunction may provide new insights into therapeutic prospects for the management of those symptoms in children. Recent advances in noninvasive neuroimaging techniques, and especially functional near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), have contributed significant findings to the field of developmental cognitive neuroscience in pediatrics. We present here a comprehensive review of functional NIRS studies of children who have developed normally and of children with psychosomatic and behavioral disorders.
PMCID: PMC3337812  PMID: 22433235
Development; Children; Cognitive neuroscience; Near-infrared spectroscopy
18.  Six-month trial of Yoga Nidra in menstrual disorder patients: Effects on somatoform symptoms 
Industrial Psychiatry Journal  2011;20(2):97-102.
Yoga Nidra is a successful therapy for both recent and long-standing psychological disturbances of all kinds especially depression and high anxiety level and neurotic patterns.
The purpose of the present work, therefore, was to conduct a preliminary randomized study of Yoga Nidra as a treatment in the patients of menstrual disorders with somatoform symptoms.
Materials and Methods:
Patients were recruited from Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, CSM Medical University (erstwhile KGMU) Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India. One hundred and fifty female patients with menstrual disorders were randomly divided in to two groups 1- Intervention group: 75 subjects (Yoga Nidra intervention and medication) 2- control group: 75 subjects (without Yoga Nidra intervention only medication). Schedule for clinical assessment in neuropsychiatry tool was used.
There was significant improvement in pain symptoms (P<0.006), gastrointestinal symptoms (P<0.04), cardiovascular symptoms (P<0.02) and urogenital symptoms (P<0.005) after 6 months of Yoga Nidra therapy in Intervention group in comparison to control group.
Yoga Nidra appears to be a promising intervention for psychosomatic problems. It is cost-effective and easy to implement. The results indicate that somatoform symptoms in patients with menstrual disorder can be decreased by learning and applying a program based on Yogic intervention (Yoga Nidra).
PMCID: PMC3530296  PMID: 23271863
Menstrual disorders; somatoform symptoms; Yoga Nidra
19.  The role of traditional Japanese medicine (Kampo) in the practice of psychosomatic medicine: the usefulness of Kampo in the treatment of the stress-related symptoms of women, especially those with peri-menopausal disorder 
A serious problem currently plaguing the medical field is the widening gap between academic medicine, which studies the features and causes of illness, and the medical care that patients desire. An example of this gap can be observed in the practice of psychotherapy, which is effective only for certain patients. Kampo medicine that combines the advantages of Western medicine with those of traditional Japanese medicine is currently undergoing a revival in the healthcare sector. The therapeutic policies underlying Kampo medicine are based on the physical constitution and current symptoms of each patient. For this reason, Kampo medicine is referred to as “tailor-made medicine” and has properties similar to “mind and body” or psychosomatic medicine. Some women exhibit multiple undefined stress-related symptoms during the peri-menopausal period. In order to accurately diagnose and provide patient-specific treatment, physicians should not only investigate the various stress factors in patients’ lives but should also provide a Sho, or a Kampo diagnosis. The therapeutic approach in Kampo medicine is aimed at harmonizing the mind, body, and spirit; this practice involves the use of narrative and holistic medication that treats the entire being of the patient, resulting in an increased number of specialized treatment plans.
There are many Kampo prescriptions tailored to treat women who exhibit various stress-related symptoms. Both Kampo and psychosomatic medicine are based on the principles of narrative-based medicine, and by integrating these two medical systems, an ideal system can be devised to better cope with the various needs of patients. This new medical system established by integrating and harmonizing Western and Eastern medicine can be used for the treatment of women with stress-related symptoms.
PMCID: PMC4016593  PMID: 24148283
Kampo medicine; Stress-related symptoms; Undefined symptoms; Pre-menopausal disorder; Tailor-made medicine
20.  Associations between scores of psychosomatic health symptoms and health-related quality of life in children and adolescents 
The aims of the present study are to investigate whether there are differences in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) between girls and boys in two different age groups, to study how much of children’s variance in HRQoL can be explained by common psychosomatic health symptoms, and to examine whether the same set of psychosomatic symptoms can explain differences in HRQoL, both between girls and boys and between older and younger school children.
A cross-sectional study was conducted of 253 children, 99 of ages 11–12 years (n=51 girls, n=48 boys) and 154 of ages 15–16 years (n=82 girls, n=72 boys), in Swedish schools. The KIDSCREEN-52 instrument, which covers 10 dimensions of HRQoL and additional questions about psychosomatic health symptoms, were used. Analyses of variance were conducted to investigate differences between the genders and age groups, and in interaction effects on the KIDSCREEN-52 dimensions. Regression analyses were used to investigate the impacts of psychosomatic symptoms on gender and age group differences in HRQoL.
Boys rated themselves higher than girls on the KIDSCREEN dimensions: physical and psychological well-being, moods and emotions, self-perception, and autonomy. Main effects of age group were found for physical well-being, psychological well-being, moods and emotions, self-perception, autonomy, and school environment, where younger children rated their HRQoL more highly than those aged 15–16 years. Girls rated their moods and emotions dramatically lower than boys in the older age group, but the ratings of emotional status were more similar between genders at younger ages. Psychosomatic symptoms explained between 27% and 50% of the variance in the children’s HRQoL. Sleeping difficulties were a common problem for both girls and boys. Depression and concentration difficulties were particularly associated with HRQoL among girls whereas stomach aches were associated with HRQoL among boys.
Girls and adolescents experience poorer HRQoL than boys and younger children, but having psychosomatic symptoms seem to explain a substantial part of the variation. Strategies to promote health among school children, in particular to alleviate sleep problems among all children, depression and concentration difficulties among girls, and stomach aches among boys, are of great importance.
PMCID: PMC3831247  PMID: 24148880
Health; Quality of life; Gender; School; Children; Adolescents; Psychosomatic symptoms; Sleep problems; KIDSCREEN
21.  Clinical application of somatosensory amplification in psychosomatic medicine 
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.
PMCID: PMC2089063  PMID: 17925010
22.  Anorexia nervosa 
BMJ Clinical Evidence  2011;2011:1011.
Anorexia nervosa is characterised by a low body mass index (BMI), fear of gaining weight, denial of current low weight and its impact on health, and amenorrhoea. Estimated prevalence is highest in teenage girls, and up to 0.7% of this age group may be affected. While most people with anorexia nervosa recover completely or partially, about 5% die of the condition, and 20% develop a chronic eating disorder. Young women with anorexia nervosa are at increased risk of bone fractures later in life.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review, and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of treatments in anorexia nervosa? What are the effects of interventions to prevent or treat complications of anorexia nervosa? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to April 2010 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
We found 40 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: atypical antipsychotic drugs, benzodiazepines, cyproheptadine, inpatient/outpatient treatment setting, oestrogen treatment (HRT or oral contraceptives), older-generation antipsychotic drugs, psychotherapy, refeeding, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and tricyclic antidepressants.
Key Points
Anorexia nervosa is characterised by a low body mass index (BMI), fear of gaining weight, denial of current low weight and its impact on health, and amenorrhoea. Estimated prevalence is highest in teenage girls, and the condition may affect up to 0.7% of this group.Anorexia nervosa is related to family, sociocultural, genetic, and other biological factors. Psychiatric and personality disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, and perfectionism are commonly found in people who have anorexia nervosa.Most people with anorexia nervosa recover completely or partially, but about 5% die from the condition and 20% develop a chronic eating disorder.Young women with anorexia nervosa are at increased risk of fractures later in life.Population assessment indicates that risks to fertility may be overstated in those who reach a healthy BMI, but children born to mothers who have recovered from anorexia nervosa seem to have lower birth weights.
There is no strong RCT evidence that any treatments work well for anorexia nervosa. However, there is a gradual accumulation of evidence suggesting that early intervention is effective. Increasing evidence suggests that working with the family may also interrupt the development of a persistent form of the illness, when this work begins early in the disease.
Evidence on the benefits of psychotherapy is unclear.
Refeeding is a necessary and effective component of treatment, but is not sufficient alone. Very limited evidence from a quasi-experimental study suggests that a lenient approach to refeeding is as effective and more acceptable compared with a more strict approach.Refeeding may be as effective in an outpatient setting as during hospital admission.Nasogastric refeeding has been used to speed up weight gain in inpatient observational studies, although it is rarely studied in RCTs. Very limited RCT evidence suggests that adding nasogastric feeding to oral nutrition can increase weight gain and reduce relapse in the short term more than oral nutrition alone, but these gains are not maintained at 1 year post-discharge. Given ethical and medical concerns with tube feeding, this approach is encouraged with caution.Nutritional supplements, including zinc, have only limited evidence for their effectiveness, and additional evaluations of these measures are warranted.
We don't know whether inpatient or outpatient treatment is more effective in people with anorexia nervosa.
Limited evidence from small RCTs has not shown significant weight gain from SSRIs or tricyclic antidepressants, some of which may cause serious adverse effects. Tricyclic antidepressants may cause drowsiness, dry mouth, blurred vision, and a prolonged QT interval in people who have anorexia nervosa. SSRIs have not been shown to be beneficial, but the evidence remains very limited; in the 4 RCTs we found, conclusions were limited because of small trial size and high rates of withdrawal.
Older-generation antipsychotic drugs may prolong the QT interval, increasing the risk of ventricular tachycardia, torsades de pointes, and sudden death. Atypical antipsychotics have been evaluated for their potential role in reducing agitation and anxiety related to refeeding, as well as for potentially increasing appetite. Increasing observational data (case series) have suggested that they may decrease obsessiveness and agitation. However, further evidence from large, well-conducted RCTs is necessary to draw reliable conclusions. Newer atypical antipsychotics, in particular olanzapine, do not seem to be associated with the same cardiac risks as older-generation antipsychotic drugs, but the known association between olanzapine and weight gain may impact compliance in people with anorexia nervosa. However, further research needs to be done.
We found insufficient RCT evidence assessing benzodiazepines or cyproheptadine for treating anorexia nervosa.
Oestrogen treatment has been hypothesised to reduce the negative effects on bone mineral density associated with anorexia nervosa. However, three small RCTs have failed to demonstrate clinically relevant changes in bone mineral density after treatment with oestrogen either HRT or oral contraceptives), and these results are supported by 2-year longitudinal data, which found similar lack of improvement.
PMCID: PMC3275304  PMID: 21481284
23.  Type D personality is a risk factor for psychosomatic symptoms and musculoskeletal pain among adolescents: a cross-sectional study of a large population-based cohort of Swedish adolescents 
BMC Pediatrics  2013;13:11.
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.
PMCID: PMC3567984  PMID: 23336535
Adolescents; Musculoskeletal pain; Negative affectivity; Psychosomatic symptoms; Social inhibition; Type D personality
24.  Evaluation of a Salutogenetic Concept for Inpatient Psychosomatic Treatment 
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.
PMCID: PMC3789398  PMID: 24159352
25.  Treatment of Psychosomatic Disorders 
Canadian Medical Association Journal  1964;90(18):1055-1060.
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.
PMCID: PMC1922663  PMID: 14146853

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