Prevalence, Overlap, and Predictors of Functional Somatic Syndromes in a Student Sample

Fischer, Susanne and Gaab, Jens and Ehlert, Ulrike and Nater, Urs M.. (2012) Prevalence, Overlap, and Predictors of Functional Somatic Syndromes in a Student Sample. International journal of behavioral medicine, Vol. 20, H. 2. pp. 184-193.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6070550

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BACKGROUND: Although at least 20 different functional somatic syndromes (FSS) have been described, and overlaps between individual FSS and a high comorbidity with depressive and anxiety disorders have been suggested, barely any studies have examined a broad array of FSS within one study. Moreover, information on psychosocial risk factors gained from prospective studies is scarce. PURPOSE: This study aimed to determine prevalence rates, overlap, and comorbidity in 17 FSS and to estimate the influence of psychosocial risk factors on the development of FSS. METHODS: In total, 3,054 students (73.4 % women) completed a Web survey containing questions on FSS, comorbidity, and psychosocial risk factors at baseline. Of these, 429 completed the survey again 6 months later. RESULTS: The prevalence of any FSS was 9.5 %, with 227 (78.6 %) subjects fulfilling criteria for only one FSS, 49 (17.0 %) reporting two, and 12 (4.2 %) reporting three syndromes simultaneously. Only one person suffered from four FSS at the same time. "Major depressive syndrome" (15.6 %), "panic syndrome" (4.8 %), and "other anxiety syndromes" (19.7 %) frequently occurred among persons with FSS. Significant predictors of FSS were number of somatic symptoms (OR = 1.15), impairment in daily activities (OR = 3.17), depression (OR = 1.13), and somatization (OR = 1.15). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that FSS are common in nonclinical samples. The frequency of overlap and comorbidity in FSS was lower compared with previous research. A consideration of psychosocial risk factors is warranted in the prevention and management of FSS.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Health & Intervention > Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie (Gaab)
UniBasel Contributors:Gaab, Jens
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Springer Science & Business Media B.V.
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:27 Mar 2014 13:13
Deposited On:24 May 2013 09:04

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