Tailored psychotherapy for patients with functional neurological symptoms: A pilot study

  • Reuber M
  • Burness C
  • Howlett S
 et al. 
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Objective: The objective of this study was to assess whether individually tailored psychotherapy for patients with functional neurological symptoms is associated with improvements in patient-centered measures of emotional well-being, quality of life, as well as somatic symptoms and whether this treatment modality is likely to be cost-effective. Methods: We conducted an uncontrolled prospective pilot study of consecutive patients with functional symptoms referred from neurology outpatient clinics to a single psychotherapist using validated questionnaires [Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation Outcome Measure (CORE-OM), Short Function (SF)-36 Health Survey, and Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ)-15]. Patients had a median of 6 treatment sessions (range=1-24). Ninety-one patients completed questionnaires at referral, 63 did at the end of treatment, and 34 did at follow-up after 6 months. Significant improvements were seen on all measures and were maintained at follow-up (CORE-OM, P=.003; SF-36, P

Author-supplied keywords

  • Dissociative disorder
  • Functional symptoms
  • Neurology
  • Nonepileptic seizures
  • Psychotherapy
  • Somatoform disorder

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  • Markus ReuberUniversity of Sheffield

  • Christine Burness

  • Stephanie Howlett

  • John Brazier

  • Richard Grünewald

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