Intensive multidisciplinary treatment of severe somatoform disorder: a prospective evaluation

Chronic severe somatoform disorder (SFD) is resistant to treatment. In a prospective observational study, we evaluated an intensive multidisciplinary treatment focusing on body-related mentalization and acceptance. Patients included in the study were 183 (146 women, 37 men) of 311 eligible patients with chronic severe SFD, referred consecutively to a specialized tertiary care center between 2002 and 2009. Primary outcome measures were somatic symptoms (SCL-90) and health-related quality of life (EuroQol 5-Dimensional [EQ-5D]). These measures were assessed four times before treatment (on intake, twice during an observation period, at start of treatment) and four times after treatment (during follow-up for 2 years). Multilevel analysis was used to separate effects of time (maturation) and treatment. Results revealed significant improvements in SCL-90 somatic symptoms (d = 0.51), EQ-5D index (d = 0.27), and EQ visual analogue scale (d = 0.56). Significant reductions were also observed in SCL-90 anxiety, depression, and overall psychopathology as well as in medical consumption associated with psychiatric illness (Trimbos/iMTA Questionnaire for Costs Associated With Psychiatric Illness). Large interindividual differences were found in treatment outcome. The long-term improvement seen in many patients suggests that intensive multidisciplinary tertiary care treatment is a useful approach to chronic severe SFD.

J.H. Houtveen, S. van Broeckhuysen-Kloth, L.L. Lintmeijer, M.E. B├╝hring, R. Geenen | 2015
The@Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, ISSN 0022 3018 | 203 | 2 | februari | 141-148