Abstract: Evaluation and Management of Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms

Neurologist. 2004 Jan; 10(1): 18-30.

Richardson RD, Engel Jr CC.

*VA Puget Sound Healthcare System, Seattle, WA, USA and Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA; dagger Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA and Department of Psychiatry, Uniformed Services University, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Medically unexplained physical symptoms (MUPS) and related syndromes are common in medical care and the general population, are associated with extensive morbidity, and have a large impact on functioning.

Much of medical practice emphasizes specific pharmacological and surgical intervention for discrete disease states. Medical science, with its emphasis on identifying etiologically meaningful diseases comprised of homogeneous groups of patients, has split MUPS into a number of diagnostic entities or syndromes, each with its own hypothesized pathogenesis.

However, research suggests these syndromes may be more similar than different, sharing extensive phenomenological overlap and similar risk factors, treatments, associated morbidities, and prognoses. Examples of syndromes consisting of MUPS include chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivities, somatoform disorders, and ‘Gulf War Syndrome.’

PMID: 14720312 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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