The purpose of this study is to compare cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) to medical
care-as-usual for the treatment of patients with high levels of medically unexplained
physical symptoms (Somatization Disorder). A second goal is to examine the effectiveness of
CBT in Latinos, since Latinos suffer a relatively high prevalence of Somatization Disorder.
Patients with Somatization Disorder suffer from medically unexplained physical ailments and
experience significant distress and disability. This disorder is an important problem for
the primary health care system because patients with Somatization Disorder use health care
resources extensively but receive little benefit. To date, no medical or psychiatric
intervention has been demonstrated in controlled trials to produce clinically significant
and lasting symptom relief or improved functional status in Somatization Disorder patients.
Patients in primary care settings with multiple unexplained symptoms are treated with 10
weekly sessions of CBT or "treatment as usual." Physical symptoms, comorbid psychiatric
symptoms, disability, and health care utilization are measured and assessed through a
combination of structured interviews and self-reports. Assessments are performed at study
start, mid-treatment, end of treatment, and at a 6-month follow-up.
- Somatization disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Schizophrenia or other psychosis
- Major Depression