Abstract: Fibromyalgia – a somatoform (pain) disorder?

Schmerz. 2005 Apr 2; [Epub ahead of print]

[Article in German]

Hauser W, Bernardy K, Arnold B.

Zentrum fur Schmerztherapie/Medizinische Klinik I, Klinikum Saarbrucken, .

The hypothesis that fibromyalgia (FM) should be classified as a somatoform disorder was assessed by reviewing current clinical studies. According to the ICD-10, somatic illness beliefs of the patient, high health care utilization, and frustrating patient-doctor relationships are diagnostic criteria of somatoform disorders. For the diagnosis of a somatoform pain disorder, a temporal association between the manifestation of pain and emotional or psychosocial conflicts and the exclusion of a depressive disorder are additionally required. Empirical studies demonstrate a higher lifetime and current prevalence of psychiatric disorders, childhood adversities, life events, and daily hassles and a higher health care utilization of FM patients. Studies also reveal that most patients believe that both somatic and psychosocial factors have caused their disorder. The patient-doctor relationship is characterized to be disappointing for both. Yet in all studies there were patients who did not fulfill the ICD-10 criteria of a somatoform (pain) disorder. A biopsychosocial model of FM differentiating between biological as well as psychosocial predisposing, triggering, and perpetuating factors in the pathogenesis of FM is presented as an alternative model. Hopefully the biopsychosocial model and the distinction of subgroups will enable more differentiated and tailored psychotherapeutic and pharmacological treatment strategies.

PMID: 15806384 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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