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Table of Contents
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: December 18, 2009
Accepted: July 29, 2010
Published online: January 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


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: December 18, 2009
Accepted: July 29, 2010
Published online: January 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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Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
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