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Trauma Prevalence and Somatoform Symptoms: Are There Specific Somatoform Symptoms Related to Traumatic Experiences?

Sack, Martin MD*; Lahmann, Claas MD*; Jaeger, Burkard PhD†; Henningsen, Peter MD*

Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease: November 2007 - Volume 195 - Issue 11 - pp 928-933
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3181594846
Original Article

There is still insufficient knowledge on the subject of possibly specific patterns of somatoform symptoms related to sexual or nonsexual traumatizations. Using standardized questionnaires, a sample of 892 patients consecutively admitted to a psychotherapy outpatient clinic were evaluated for psychological symptoms in general, for somatoform symptoms and for history of traumatizations. Any severe lifetime trauma was reported in 67.8% of the total sample. Somatoform symptoms were notably more prevalent in traumatized patients when compared with nontraumatized patients. Descriptive data analysis revealed specific elevations of symptom frequencies for pseudoneurological symptoms and for symptoms associated with discomfort or dysfunction in sexual organs.

From the *Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technical University Munich, Munich; and †Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Hannover Medical School, Germany.

Send reprint requests to: Martin Sack, MD, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technical University Munich, Langerstrasse 3, 81675 Munich, Germany. E-mail: m.sack@tum.de.

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.