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November 2021

Review: Somatization in the elderly

Author(s): Banerjee, S.

Journal/Book: Int J Geriat Psychiat. 1999; 14: Baffins Lane Chichester, W Sussex PO19 1UD, England. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 1044-1049.

Abstract: Somatization is a common medical problem encountered at all levels of medical care. It is strongly associated with use of services and may be difficult to treat. Somatization in the elderly has been traditionally seen as a masked presentation of depression. Population studies have shown no consistent increase in somatization among the elderly, and the elderly may downplay physical symptoms. Among the elderly depressed, somatization is common and may be commoner if physical illness is also present. Psychological distress is usually acknowledged, not masked, in the elderly depressed. Neuroticism, as well as psychiatric illness, may be an important aetiological factor for somatization in the elderly. Treatment strategies must attend to underlying psychiatric disorders, but there is a need for studies of treatment of the phenomenon in the elderly.

Note: Review Sheehan B, Maudsley Hosp, Dept Old Age Psychiat, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AZ, ENGLAND

Keyword(s): somatization; medical care; elderly; depression; anxiety; treatment; PRIMARY-CARE; SOMATIC COMPLAINTS; PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS; HEALTH BEHAVIOR; DEPRESSION; DISORDER; ILLNESS; HYPOCHONDRIASIS; POPULATION; COMMUNITY


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