Somatoform, Factitious, and Related Diagnoses in the National Hospital Discharge Survey: Addressing the Proposed DSM-5 Revision

Hamilton J. C., Eger M., Razzak S., Feldman M. D., Hallmark N., Cheek S.

Psychosomatics, vol.54, no.2, pp.142-148, 2013 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 54 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.psym.2012.08.013
  • Journal Name: Psychosomatics
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.142-148
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: No


Background: The DSM-5 working group on the somatoform (SFD) and factitious (FD) disorders has recommended substantial revisions of these categories. The recommendations are based, in part, on anecdotal evidence that the diagnoses are infrequently used. Objective: To assess the assignment rates for SFD, FD, and related diagnoses among general medical inpatients. Method: The National Hospital Discharge Survey was queried for instances of SFD and FD, along with related diagnoses identifying medical cases in which psychological factors play a role. Diagnoses of major depression and generalized anxiety disorder were queried for comparison purposes. Results: The target diagnoses were assigned far less frequently than published prevalence and recognition rates suggest. Nearly half of the assigned target diagnoses were generic diagnoses (esp. physiological malfunction due to psychological factors) other than SFD or FD. However, the apparent degree of underassignment of the target diagnoses was not dramatically greater than the underassignment observed for major depression and generalized anxiety disorder. Conclusion: The results provide empirical support for the impression that physicians do not assign SFD and FD diagnoses in recognized cases, but do not strongly support the assertion that these diagnoses are uniquely problematic. © 2013 The Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine.