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Medicine, Year 1 Block 6 (Psychological Medicine) > Medically Unexplained Symptoms > Flashcards

Flashcards in Medically Unexplained Symptoms Deck (6)
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What is "Medically Unexplained Symptoms"?

Physical symptoms not explained by organic disease, but nevertheless causes distress and impairs function


Define "somatisation"

The physical expression of emotional distress


Give four examples of Medically Descriptive Terms

Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Atypical Non Cardiac Chest Pain


Give three positive outcomes of Medically Unexplained Symptoms

1. Reduces stigmatisation of mental illness
2. Allows people to assume the sick role
3. Physical expression of distress, thus reduces internal emotional conflict


What are some of the controversies in MUS?

1. Affects a heterogenous group with a wide variation in severity and presentation
2. Given heterogeneity, likely that different mechanisms play a role in development
3. Translates to problematic management at a diagnostic level


Explore the aetiology of MUS

1. Genetic basis is small
2. Familial transmission: reinforcement and modelling "emotional currency"
3. Cognitive processes involved, i.e. overinterpreting symptoms
4. Central pain mechanisms
5. Association between abuse and central pain mechanisms