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Somatization symptoms are usually considered to be psychological rather than physical in origin. It is argued that whilst, by definition, somatization symptoms do not result from physical disease, they do have a physiological basis. The evidence for this contention is reviewed in relation to the common somatization symptoms. The acknowledgement of the role of pathophysiology in the aetiology of somatization symptoms has implications for both treatment and research. © 1992 Informa UK Ltd All rights reserved: reproduction in whole or part not permitted.

Original publication




Journal article


International Review of Psychiatry

Publication Date





81 - 97