Medically unexplained symptoms in family medicine: defining a research agenda. Proceedings from WONCA 2007
Authors: olde Hartman, TC; Hassink-Franke, LJA; Dowrick, C; Fortes, S; Lam, C; van der Horst, HE; Lucassen, PLBJ; van Weel-Baumgarten, EM
Source: Family Practice, Volume 25, Number 4, 14 August 2008 , pp. 266-271(6)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract:Background. Medically unexplained symptoms (MUSs) are frequently presented in primary care. Unfortunately, knowledge of these patients and/or symptoms in primary care is still limited. Available research comes mainly from Europe and North America, while the perspectives of cultures such as Africa, Asia and South America are relatively unknown. To bring cultural perspectives together, a symposium and workshop on MUS in primary care was held at the WONCA World Conference 2007 in Singapore.
Objective. Main goals of this symposium and workshopapart from presenting ongoing research and bringing together experts in MUSwere to detect knowledge gaps in MUS and to establish priorities in MUS research. This publication focuses on the proposed research agenda.
Methods. Using a nominal group technique, we generated research topics and set priorities. Research topics were grouped into research themes.
Results. Participants (66 researchers and GPs from 29 nationalities) most important research topics were formulating a broadly accepted definition of MUS, finding a strategy to recognize MUS better and at an earlier stage, studying the value of self-management and empowerment in patients with MUS and finding predictors to decide which strategy will best help the individual patient with MUS. Priorities in research themes of MUS are as follows: (i) therapeutic options for patients with MUS and (ii) problems in consultations with these patients.
Conclusions. More research on MUS in primary care is needed to improve the consultations with and management of these patients. Internationally primary care conferences are excellent for exchanging ideas and formulating central issues of research.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2008-08-14
- Family Practice is an international journal aimed at practitioners, teachers and researchers in the fields of family medicine, general practice and primary care in both developed and developing countries.