Searching for a gastrointestinal subgroup within the somatoform disorders.

  • Hiller W
  • Cuntz U
  • Rief W
 et al. 
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Examined whether patients suffering from functional gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms constitute a separate group within the broader concept of the somatoform disorders. The authors compared 103 Ss with a severe GI syndrome, 220 Ss with a somatization syndrome according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (DSM-IV) and 250 clinical controls with nonsomatoform mental disorders (aged 18-74 yrs). Measures included the Screening for Somatoform Symptoms, Cognitions about Body and Health Questionnaire, Whiteley Index, Beck Depression inventory, and Dysfunctional Analysis Questionnaire. The GI Ss showed more catastrophizing thinking, complained more about autonomic sensations, felt bodily weaker, were less tolerant towards bodily discomfort, had developed more hypochondriacal fears and behaviors, were more depressed, and were more severely disabled in different areas of psychosocial functioning than the other groups. These differences, however disappeared when general somatization was controlled for by analysis of covariance. Only a small effect related to dysfunctional cognitions remained specific to the GI syndrome. Because these results do not confirm the idea of an independent GI syndrome, general mechanisms of somatization seem to play the dominant role. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

Author-supplied keywords

  • *Gastrointestinal Disorders
  • *Somatoform Disorders
  • *Taxonomies

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  • Wolfgang Hiller

  • Ulrich Cuntz

  • Winfried Rief

  • Manfred M A I - ORCID: Fichter Ulrich; ORCID:

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