Somatic symptoms and psychological concerns in a general adolescent population: Exploring the relevance of DSM-5 somatic symptom disorder

Journal of Psychosomatic Research
Stefan M van GeelenCurt Hagquist

Abstract

DSM-5 somatic symptom disorder (SSD) constitutes a major change for psychosomatic medicine and psychiatry, as well as for epidemiological research in these fields. This study investigates somatic symptoms and psychological concerns among adolescents in order to systematically explore the relevance of SSD for general adolescent populations. A cross-sectional population-based design, with a symptoms-based strategy and a symptom-and-psychological-concern-based strategy, was used to estimate the prevalence of somatic symptoms and psychological concerns in a general adolescent population (n=2476, mean age=16years, 49% boys, 51% girls). Somatic symptoms and psychological concerns in relation to gender, and self-reported medical and psychiatric conditions were investigated. The association between somatic symptoms, psychological concerns, and functional impairment in school-, family-, peer- and physical activities was studied. Reporting 3+ persistent distressing somatic symptoms was significantly more common than reporting one or more persistent distressing somatic symptom(s) combined with serious psychological concern. The prevalence of such complaints was significantly higher in girls. The proportion of medical and psychiatric condi...Continue Reading

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