What to Ask Your Patients With Somatic Symptom Disorder


Many patients experience persistent physical symptoms without an identifiable cause, leading to diagnostic challenges in medicine. Terms like “Persistent physical symptoms” have emerged to describe these health challenges, which may stem from a combination of physical and psychological factors. The new diagnostic approach focuses on the patient’s perception of their illness rather than ruling out physical causes entirely. Doctors treating such patients should consider the patient’s subjective experience, communicate effectively, and approach treatment holistically by addressing both the body and mind. A structured communication tool called the Individual Challenge Inventory Tool has shown promise in improving treatment outcomes for patients with medically unexplained physical symptoms.

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