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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 49 (2007) 11, 823 - 834

Review article

Medically unexplained somatic symptoms are not unexplainable, misunderstood or vague physical complaints

Q. van Dieren, A.J.J.M. Vingerhoets

In the current literature and in clinical practice a very wide range of terms is used to describe medically unexplained somatic symptoms; this gives rise to a number of problems.
aim To propose an unambiguous multidisciplinary terminology which can solve a number of problems.
method A literature search was conducted using the database PiCarta and references in the literature found via that database.
results The terms used in the current literature and the meanings they are given are very diverse and in several instances the terms and meanings are confusing, inaccurate or unclear.
conclusion The use of the terms 'medically unexplained somatic symptoms' and 'unexplained somatic symptoms' is a possible solution for many of the problems that arise.

keywords complaints, somatization, unexplained