Publication details

What is common across treatments for medically unexplained somatic symptoms?



Year of publication 2018
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Description Aim: In the field of psychotherapy, many treatments for patients suffering from medically unexplained somatic symptoms (MUSS) have been developed, which differ in their theory and method. Yet, we may expect that some common change mechanisms exist across this multitude of treatments. Method: To formulate these hypothesized mechanisms, we performed a qualitative analysis of 95 published texts (articles, chapters, and books) that describe the rationale and methods of various psychotherapeutic treatments for patients with MUSS. Results: The analysis resulted in a set of eight categories that capture the intersections, as well as heterogeneity, among treatments (Symptom validation, Motivation and preparation, Symptom meaning, Living one’s life despite having symptoms, Body awareness and relaxation, Emotional awareness and regulation, Patient’s relationships and communication, and Collaborative and secure therapeutic relationship). Discussion: These categories are discussed in the context of wider literature on common factors in psychotherapy.
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