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The treatment of patients with medically unexplained symptoms in primary care: a review of the literature

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Medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) are among the most common and frustrating in primary care. Our goal was to review published evidence to guide busy general practitioners working with a culturally diverse, challenging patient population coping with MUS. A search of PubMed and PsycINFO from 1985 to the present was conducted using MUS and related terms. The literature was then organised into subcategories based on its relevance to primary care. We conclude with a description of gaps in the literature based on the literature review and the clinical experience of the authors.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Associate Professor of Marital and Family Therapy, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA 2: Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine, Albert Einstein School of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA 3: Clinical Assistant Professor of Gastroenterology Emeritus, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR, USA 4: London Regional Primary Care Advisor, Improving access to Psychological Therapies Programme, Family Doctor and Medical Director, Waltham Forest Community and Family Health Services, The Wood Street Medical Centre, London, UK 5: Graduate Student, Marital and Family Therapy Program, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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