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Research Paper | Medicine | Bulgaria | Volume 10 Issue 4, April 2021
The Relationship between Illness Behavior and Health Expenses of Patients with Multiple Somatoform Syndrome in General Practice
Ivo Natsov  | Kaloyan Natsov
Abstract: Objectives: To compare the behavioral characteristics of patients with somatoform syndrome and control group, measured by means of Scale of Assessment of Illness Behavior, as well as direct and indirect health expenses of these patients. Methods: the served consecutive patients in 13 general practices were investigated by means of standardized methodic ? SOMS, following clinical interview and Scale of Assessment of Illness Behavior. Using the data of patients medical records the following indexes have been studied an year before this research: number of visits to GP; number of visits to medical specialists in outpatient care; number of hospitalizations; visits in emergency center; days out of work; psychiatric consultations; laboratory and medico ? diagnostic investigations. The software package for statistical processing SPSS 17.0. was used. Results: The levels of abnormal behavior in patients with somatization syndrome are statistically higher than these in control group. The number of visits of patients with multisomatoform syndrome to medical specialists in outpatient care significantly overweight the number of visits in control group. The hospitalizations of patients in investigated group significantly overweight the hospitalizations in control group. The relation between the number of visits to GPs in target group compared with control group is 3:1. One third /25%/ of nonsomatizing patients and 84% of somatizing use laboratory and medico-diagnostic investigations. Conclusions: The higher levels of abnormal behavior correlates with higher levels of health-related expenses. The somatizing patients with more reported medically unexplained symptoms show bigger tendency to abnormal illness behavior. It seems that the number of reported symptoms has a predictive value regarding health expenses.
Keywords: somatization, Illness behavior, health expenses
Edition: Volume 10 Issue 4, April 2021,
Pages: 931 - 936