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Health-Related Quality of Life in Older Persons with Medically Unexplained Symptoms

Hanssen, D. J. C., Lucassen, P. L. B. J., Hilderink, P. H., Naarding, P. & Oude Voshaar, R., Nov-2016, In : American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. 24, 11, p. 1117-1127 11 p.

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  • Health-Related Quality of Life in Older Persons with Medically

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DOI

Objective: Research on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in older persons with medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) is scarce, and, in contrast with younger patients, interactions with chronic somatic diseases are more complex. Design: In the current study we compared HRQoL between older persons with MUS and older persons with medically explained symptoms (MES). Our study sample consisted of 118 older MUS-patients and 154 older MES-patients. Setting/Measurements: The diagnosis of MUS was ascertained by the general practitioner and confirmed by a geriatrician within a multidisciplinary diagnostic assessment. Additional characteristics, including the HRQoL (Short Form-36), were assessed during a home visit. MES-patients received two home visits to assess all measures. Multiple linear regression analyses, adjusted for age, sex, education, cognitive functioning, and psychiatric diagnoses, were performed to assess the relationship between group (MUS/MES) and HRQoL. Analyses were repeated with additional adjustments for somatization and hypochondriacal cognitions. Results: Older patients with MUS had a significantly lower level of HRQoL compared with older patients with MES. Even after adjustments, the presence of MUS was still associated with both a lower physical and mental HRQoL. These associations disappeared, however, after additional adjustments for somatization and hypochondriacal cognitions. Within the subgroup of MUS-patients, higher levels of hypochondriac anxiety and of somatization were significantly associated with both lower physical and mental HRQoL. Conclusions: Associations between HRQoL and late-life MUS disappear when corrected for somatization and hypochondriacal cognitions, which is in line with the DSM-5 classification of somatic symptom disorder. Appropriate psychological treatment seems needed to improve HRQoL in older MUS-patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1117-1127
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Volume24
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov-2016

    Keywords

  • aged, medically unexplained symptoms, quality of life, somatization, IRRITABLE-BOWEL-SYNDROME, FUNCTIONAL SOMATIC SYNDROMES, PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS, CONCEPTUAL-MODEL, GENERAL-PRACTICE, CARE, SOMATIZATION, DISORDERS, POPULATION, IMPACT

ID: 37474301