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Latent variable models of functional somatic distress

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By Robbins JM, Kirmayer LJ, Hemami S • www.ProHealth.com • October 23, 1997


Latent variable models of functional somatic symptoms were
estimated for a sample of 686 family medicine patients.
Symptom items from the NIMH Diagnostic Interview Schedule were
selected to approximate diagnoses of fibromyalgia syndrome
(FMS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and irritable bowel
syndrome (IBS). Confirmatory factor analysis demonstrated that
hypothesized latent variables of somatic depression, somatic
anxiety, FM-like, CF-like, and IB-like syndromes fit the
observed covariations better than models hypothesizing fewer
latent variables. Results offer tentative confirmation of
functional somatic syndromes as discrete entities and suggest
that relaxing the diagnostic criteria for somatization may
identify individuals with distress limited to a single
functional system.




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