Symptoms in medical patients: An untended field

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


Somatic symptoms are one of the leading reasons for medical outpatient clinic visits, with the most common symptoms having a prevalence of 10% or more. However, the usual diagnostic workups are often unproductive, with <1 in 5 symptoms having an organic explanation after the initial physical examination and laboratory testing. Therapy appears more effective for some symptoms than for others. Of patients with unspecified pain or gastrointestinal complaints, >70% state that some type of treatment has been helpful, whereas <50% of individuals with fatigue, dizziness, numbness, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, anxiety, or depression report any relief. Future educational efforts and research need to focus on that majority of symptoms that are either psychiatric or unexplained, in order to improve our current evaluation and management strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S3-S6
JournalThe American Journal of Medicine
Issue number1 SUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Jan 24 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Symptoms in medical patients: An untended field'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this