[Note: This is an abstract of a journal article.]
This special issue is devoted to the topic of medically unexplained symptoms (MUS), a heterogeneous group of conditions characterized by persistent physical symptoms that cannot be explained by medical illness or injury.
Although psychological factors have long been regarded as central to these problems, patients with MUS have typically been managed within medical settings, and referrals to mental health services have been relatively rare. In recent years, however, interest in the psychological nature and treatment of MUS has expanded, culminating in the development of tailored psychological interventions for these conditions.
This, coupled with the increasing willingness of practitioners to diagnose conditions such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome, has led to an increase in the number of patients who are referred for psychological treatment. At present, however, many psychological therapists are unfamiliar with the literature on MUS.
With this in mind, this special issue presents a series of papers that provide an overview of what is known about the nature, aetiology and treatment of medically unexplained illness.
This introductory paper provides general information about the clinical presentation, diagnosis, classification, terminology and epidemiology of MUS in adults, and concludes with an examination of important areas for future development in the field.
Subsequent papers address:
Source: Clinical Psychology Review. 2007 Jul 17; Vol 27, Issue 6 [E-publication ahead of print] PMID: 17707564, by Brown RJ. School of Psychological Sciences, University of Manchester, UK.