Literature review of psychological and social-psychological factors implicated in medically unexplained physical symptoms


  1. Gross, G.
Corporate Authors
Defence and Civil Inst of Environmental Medicine, Downsview ONT (CAN);Goss Gilroy Inc Management Consultants, Ottawa ONT (CAN)
The present project reviews the literature regarding psychological and social-psychological factors that have been previously identified in the medical and psychological literature as related and/or implicated with medically unexplainable physical symptoms (MUPS). Based on this review, suitable measurement tools are identified to assist in the development of a longitudinal database to the developed by the Directorate of Medical Policy Prospective Health Data Analysis Capability Study (PHDACS). The initial step involved identification of the main psychological and social-psychological factors that have been associated with MUPS among military personnel. The second step required the identification of various instruments that potentially could be used for the PHDACS. The findings were that the most frequently reported key factors that appear to be associated with reporting of physical symptoms in the military context are posttraumatic stress disorder and exposure to psychological stressors, depression, anxiety, and somatization. Instrument selection was based on the following assumptions: the focus should be on self-report measures; the measures proposed have solid psychometric/diagnostic properties; the measures be relevant/sensitive to the military context; and, there should be considerations made with regards to response burden and cost. TRUNCATED

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MUPS (Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms);Literature reviews;Psychological variables;Psychological stressors;Depression;Somatization
Report Number
DCIEM-CR-2001-063 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
19 Apr 2001
Number of Pages
Hardcopy;Document Image stored on Optical Disk

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