Development and feasibility of a modified reattribution model for somatising patients, applied by their own general practitioners

Annette H. Blankenstein, Henriëtte E. van der Horst, Albert F. Schilte, Douwe de Vries, Joost O.M. Zaat, J. André Knottnerus, Jacques T.M. van Eijk, Marten de Haan

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Reattribution has been developed as a cognitive-behavioural treatment model for somatisation in general practice. Our objective is to make reattribution suitable for application on patients with long-standing somatisation, including hypochondria, and to evaluate feasibility. Three modifications were developed: (1) dealing with persistent illness worry, (2) adjustment of the doctor's speed to that of the patient, and (3) the use of symptom diaries. Performance of ten experienced general practitioners (GPs), after a 20h training programme (six sessions of variable length), was measured by self-registrations and audio-taped consultations. GPs were interviewed on factors interfering with performance. Nine GPs completed the course. Reattribution was applied to 51 out of 75 indicated somatising patients, which required on average three consultations of 10-30min duration. We conclude that the modified reattribution model offers a feasible approach to the broad spectrum of somatisation seen in general practice; only the modification 'dealing with illness worry' showed limited feasibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-235
Number of pages7
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002


  • Feasibility
  • General practice
  • Reattribution
  • Somatisation

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