What is it about?

We found that patients suffering from unexplained somatic symptoms had problems believing a doctor telling them that most likely they do not have a serious medical disease. We explored how these problems can be altered through psychological interventions. Encouragingly, we found that patients' concerns could be reduced through such interventions.

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Why is it important?

Previous research struggled to find effective strategies to help patients with unexplained somatic symptoms make sense of normal results of diagnostic testing. Our approach focusing on the value given to the diagnostic information received from the doctor could have the potential to overcome these problems.


Should the findings from the current study replicate in follow-up studies using larger samples, this line of research might have the potential to significantly improve patient-clinician-communication.

Tobias Kube
Universitat Koblenz-Landau

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This page is a summary of: How the integration of normal medical test results can be improved in patients with somatoform disorders—An experimental study., Health Psychology, December 2022, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/hea0001243.
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