(See also Overview of Somatization Overview of Somatization Somatization is the expression of mental phenomena as physical (somatic) symptoms. Disorders characterized by somatization extend in a continuum from those in which symptoms develop unconsciously... read more .)
Patients have one or more clinically significant psychologic or behavior factors that adversely affect an existing medical disorder (eg, diabetes mellitus, heart disease) or symptom (eg, pain). These factors may increase the risk of suffering, death, or disability; aggravate an underlying medical condition; or result in hospitalization or emergency department visit. Abnormal psychologic or behavioral responses to a medical condition that do not affect medical outcome are considered an adjustment disorder.
Psychologic or behavior factors that can adversely affect a medical disorder include
Denial of the significance or severity of symptoms
Poor adherence to prescribed testing and treatment
Patients may present as treatment failures or with aggravation of medical conditions associated with stress (eg, Takotsubo cardiomyopathy).
Patient education and psychotherapeutic intervention can help.