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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 108-113

Stressful life events and quality of life in patients with somatoform disorders

1 Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Mental Health, Osmania Medical College, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Yenepoya Medical College, Yenepoya University, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Psychiatry, Yenepoya University, Mangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Anil Kakunje
Department of Psychiatry, Yenepoya Medical College, Yenepoya University, Mangalore - 575 018, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijsp.ijsp_24_18

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Background: Stressful life events are associated with somatoform disorders. Somatoform disorders can influence the quality of life (QOL). These factors are culture-specific and less studied in the Indian population. Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the stressful life events and QOL in patients with somatoform disorders. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional observational study was done by examining the life events and QOL of 112 consecutive patients who were diagnosed with somatoform disorders. Mini Neuropsychiatric Interview Plus, Presumptive Stressful Life Events Scale (PSLES), and WHO Quality of Life-Bref scales were administered. Results: The study sample had undifferentiated somatoform disorder (32.1%), persistent somatoform pain disorder (26.7%), and somatization disorder (25.9%). The common stressful life events experienced by somatoform disorder patients were financial issues (27.7%), marital conflicts (20.5%), family conflicts (18.7%), and illness in family members (16%). Males reported predominantly financial and job-related stressors, whereas females reported stress in family and interpersonal domain. The mean stress score using PSLES among the participants was 114.9, and the score of mean life events experienced by the participants was 2.03. QOL scores in domains such as physical, psychological, social relationship, and environment were 44.3, 41.4, 46.6, and 47.7, respectively. These were low when compared to population norms. There was a significant positive correlation between the duration of the somatoform disorder and the stress scores and a negative correlation which was not significant between the duration of illness and QOL. Conclusions: There is a difference between stressors experienced between the two genders, the knowledge of which would help in tailoring individual needs in management. There is significant impairment in the QOL in people with somatoform disorder.

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