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Hospitalized Patients with Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms: Clinical Context and Economic Costs of Healthcare Management

1
Department of Medicine and Surgery, Division of Psychiatry, University of Insubria, Viale Luigi Borri 57, 21100 Varese (VA), Italy
2
Family Therapy Center, Via San Salvatore 7, 6902 Lugano, Switzerland
3
Department of Psychology, University of Milan–Bicocca, Piazza dell’Ateneo Nuovo 1, 20126 Milan (MI), Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Behav. Sci. 2019, 9(7), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs9070080
Received: 29 May 2019 / Revised: 11 July 2019 / Accepted: 18 July 2019 / Published: 19 July 2019
Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms (MUPS) are physical symptoms without a medical explanation. This study collected data from hospitalized patients presenting MUPS, aiming to draw a clinical and socio-demographic profile of patients with MUPS, to explore psychopathological correlations of Somatic Symptoms Disorder (SSD) diagnosis, and to estimate economic costs related to hospital management for MUPS. The cross-sectional study consisted in the evaluation of data referring to hospitalized patients admitted between 2008 and 2018 in a teaching hospital in Northern Italy. A total of 273 patients presenting MUPS have been hospitalized. The sample showed a prevalence of female, married and employed patients. The most frequent wards involved are Neurology, Internal Medicine and Short Unit Stay. The most common symptoms found are headache, pain, syncope and vertigo. There is no evidence that a history of medical disease is associated with a diagnosis of SSD. A personality disorder diagnosis in patients with MUPS was associated with increased probability of having a diagnosis of SSD. A marginally significant positive association emerged with anxiety disorders, but not with depressive disorder. The overall estimated cost of hospitalization for patients with MUPS is 475′409.73 €. The study provides the investigation of a large number of patients with MUPS and a financial estimate of related hospitalization costs. View Full-Text
Keywords: Health Care Costs; Community Psychiatry; Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms; Psychosomatic Medicine; Somatic Symptoms Disorder Health Care Costs; Community Psychiatry; Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms; Psychosomatic Medicine; Somatic Symptoms Disorder
MDPI and ACS Style

Poloni, N.; Caselli, I.; Ielmini, M.; Mattia, M.; De Leo, A.; Di Sarno, M.; Isella, C.; Bellini, A.; Callegari, C. Hospitalized Patients with Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms: Clinical Context and Economic Costs of Healthcare Management. Behav. Sci. 2019, 9, 80.

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