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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 56 (2014) 11, 743 - 747

Short report

Psychiatric comorbidity in patients in tertiary care suffering from severe somatoform disorders

K.J. van der Boom, J.H. Houtveen

background Although it is generally the severity of a patient’s symptoms and impairments which determines the amount of care allocated to patients with somatoform disorders, comorbidity appears to be an additional relevant factor. A number of studies in different populations with somatoform disorders have shown that these disorders overlap with mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and personality disorders. So far, however, little is known about comorbidity in patients in tertiary care who are suffering from severe somatoform disorders.
aim To determine comorbidity of mood, anxiety and personality disorders in patients in tertiary care suffering from severe somatoform disorders.
method The study was based on a sample of 340 patients with dsm-iv-tr somatoform disorder who were awaiting treatment in a specialised care centre. The sample was examined by means of structured clinical assessment of dsm-iv-tr axis I and axis II disorders.
results 49.4% of the 340 participants was diagnosed with a mood disorder, 62.1% with an anxiety disorder and 50.6% with a personality disorder.
conclusion Patients in tertiary care suffering from (severe) somatic disorders show higher comorbidity of mood, anxiety and personality disorder than previously reported for somatoform disorder patients in primary and secondary care.

keywords comorbidity, somatoform disorder, tertiary care