Persistent somatic symptoms are among the most frequent health problems. They can occur in the absence or despite adequate treatment of an underlying diseases.

Regardless of their cause, all persistent somatic symptoms are influenced by both body and mind. We strive towards a biopsychosocial approach for patients with persistent somatic symptoms, in the presence or in the absence of a chronic disease.

We study the connections between physical and emotional health, with the ultimate aim to improve patient-centric care for those with persistent somatic symptoms. Our main fields of research are:

  • Epidemiological studies unraveling the etiology of persistent somatic symptoms
  • Clinical studies evaluating care for persistent somatic symptoms
Relevance

How our research benefits to society

Persistent somatic symptoms are common, costly and disabling. They can affect every organ system, individuals of all ages, ethnic groups and socioeconomic strata, although the risk is increased in women and lower socioeconomic strata. Functional limitations are as severe in persistent somatic symptoms in the absence of disease as in well-defined chronic diseases.

Etiological concepts are still unresolved and differ between medical specialties having important consequences for patients. Given the high prevalence and associated burden, a shared understanding and better conceptualisation of persistent somatic symptoms is urgently needed in order to optimise clinical management.

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