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Abstract

Objective: Maladaptive cognitions and behaviors may influence symptoms and impairment in patients with persistent somatic symptoms (PSS). Aims of this study were to examine: (i) whether maladaptive cognitions and behaviors are associated with symptom severity and functional health over time; (ii) if these associations are the result of changes within individuals over time or of differences between individuals; (iii) directions of changes within individuals over time. Methods: Longitudinal data of a heterogeneous sample of patients with PSS were analyzed (n = 322 patients enrolled in the PROSPECTS cohort study). Cognitive and behavioral responses to symptoms (CBRQ), symptom severity (PHQ-15) and physical and mental functioning (RAND-36 PCS and MCS) were assessed seven times over a five-year period (0, 6 months, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 year). Longitudinal mixed model and hybrid model analysis with and without time-lag were applied. Results: Maladaptive cognitions and behaviors were associated with more severe symptoms and reduced physical and mental functioning over time. Both changes within individuals over time and differences between individuals were associated with higher symptom severity and reduced physical and mental functioning. The between-subject component was about twice the effect size of the within-subject component. Changes in several specific maladaptive cognitions and behaviors were associated with more severe symptoms and reduced physical and mental functioning later in time and vice versa. Conclusion: This study shows that maladaptive cognitions and behaviors are associated with symptom severity and reduced physical and mental functioning over time in patients with PSS.
Original languageEnglish
Article number111343
JournalJournal of psychosomatic research
Volume170
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2023

Keywords

  • Cognitions and behavior
  • Course
  • Functional health
  • Medically unexplained symptoms
  • Persistent somatic symptoms

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