Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Medically unexplained physical symptoms (MUPS) are physical symptoms for which no relevant organic pathology can be found. Patients with MUPS commonly present to the emergency department (ED) but are rarely considered in emergency medicine teaching or literature. Management of these patients is frequently more challenging than where there is an obvious organic pathology. This review provides the emergency physician with background knowledge regarding the classification and aetiology of MUPS. It then provides strategies for more effective management, such as exploring the contribution of psychosocial factors with patients, explaining negative test results, and providing reassurance and avoiding creating iatrogenic anxiety. Early recognition of the fact that symptoms may not result from organic disease and an appreciation of the role of psychosocial factors may improve outcomes by reducing unnecessary investigation and admission, and avoiding reinforcement that encourages further similar presentations and unhelpful coping mechanisms.

Original publication

DOI

10.1136/emj.2005.032854

Type

Journal article

Journal

Emerg Med J

Publication Date

08/2006

Volume

23

Pages

595 - 600

Keywords

Attitude to Health, Emergency Medical Services, Humans, Physician-Patient Relations, Psychosomatic Medicine, Somatoform Disorders, Terminology as Topic