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Vol. 44, No. 2, 2011
Issue release date: January 2011
Section title: Original Paper
Psychopathology 2011;44:116–124
(DOI:10.1159/000319848)

Unexplained Somatic Symptoms during Major Depression: Prevalence and Clinical Impact in a National Sample of Italian Psychiatric Outpatients

Perugi G.a · Canonico P.L.b · Carbonato P.c · Mencacci C.d · Muscettola G.e · Pani L.f · Torta R.g · Vampini C.h · Fornaro M.i · Parazzini F.j · Dumitriu A.k · on behalf of the Come To Me Study Group
aDipartimento di Psichiatria, Università di Pisa, Institute of Behavioural Sciences ‘G. De Lisio’, Pisa, bUniversità di Novara, Novara, cGeneral Practitioner, Torino, dOspedale Fatebenefratelli, Milano, eUniversità di Napoli, Napoli, fIstituto di Neurogenetica e Neurofarmacologia, CNR, Cagliari, gOspedale Molinette, Torino, hOspedale Maggiore, Verona, iUniversità di Genova, Genova, jGPA net, and kBoehringer Ingelheim S.p.A. Italy, Milano, Italy

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: 12/18/2009
Accepted: 7/29/2010
Published online: 1/12/2011
Issue release date: January 2011

Number of Print Pages: 9
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 4

ISSN: 0254-4962 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-033X (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/PSP

Abstract

Background: The aim of this study was to explore the prevalence and impact of unexplained somatic symptoms during major depression. Sampling and Methods: A total of 560 consecutive outpatients with a major depressive episode according to the DSM-IV (text revision) were evaluated in 30 psychiatric facilities throughout Italy. ‘Unexplained’ somatic symptoms were evaluated using the 30-item Somatic Symptoms Checklist (SSCL-30). Somatic symptoms were considered explained if they were best accounted for as coming from a concomitant physical illness or side effects. Patients evaluated their own mood symptomatology using the Zung questionnaires for depression and anxiety and the Hypomania Checklist-32. Results: According to the SSCL-30, only 90 subjects (16.1%) had no unexplained somatic symptoms, while 231 (41.3%) had 1–5 unexplained symptoms and 239 (42.7%) had more than 5. Asthenia was the most commonly observed unexplained somatic symptom (53% of patients). Unexplained somatic symptoms were more common in females and among those suffering from major depression and depression not otherwise specified rather than in patients with recurrent major depression and bipolar disorders. No relationship between unexplained somatic symptoms and hypomanic features was observed. Conclusions: The presence of a large number of unexplained somatic symptoms is associated with more severe depression and higher rates of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment.

© 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel


  

Author Contacts

Dr. Giulio Perugi
Clinica Psichiatrica, Università di Pisa
Via Roma 67
IT–56126 Pisa (Italy)
Tel. +39 050 835 414, Fax +39 050 21 581, E-Mail gperugi@med.unipi.it

  

Article Information

See the Appendix for a complete list of the members of the Come To Me Study Group. Data collection and statistical analysis were supported by Boehringer Ingelheim Italy. Boehringer Ingelheim Italy had no further role in the analysis and interpretation of the data, in the writing of the report or in the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

Received: December 18, 2009
Accepted after revision: July 29, 2010
Published online: January 12, 2011
Number of Print Pages : 9
Number of Figures : 0, Number of Tables : 4, Number of References : 59

  

Publication Details

Psychopathology (International Journal of Descriptive and Experimental Psychopathology, Phenomenology and Psychiatric Diagnosis)

Vol. 44, No. 2, Year 2011 (Cover Date: January 2011)

Journal Editor: Mundt C. (Heidelberg), Akiskal H.S. (San Diego, Calif.), Herpertz S. (Heidelberg)
ISSN: 0254-4962 (Print), eISSN: 1423-033X (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/PSP


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: 12/18/2009
Accepted: 7/29/2010
Published online: 1/12/2011
Issue release date: January 2011

Number of Print Pages: 9
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 4

ISSN: 0254-4962 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-033X (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/PSP


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