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Quality of life and health care utilization in patients having somatoform disorder

Author: 
Annie Kuriakose, Sandhya Gupta, and Mamta Sood
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Several studies show a high prevalence of somatoform disorders in general population. Patients with somatoform disorders have severe functional impairments and poor QOL resulting in higher health care utilization and significant suffering from illness related symptoms. A cross sectional study was undertaken on a purposive consecutive sample of 100 subjects with diagnosis of somatoform disorder to assess the Quality of Life and health care utilization. Tools used were WHO Quality of Life Bref tool and a structured data sheet. Quality of life was found to be low in all physical, psychological, social relationship and environment domains in comparison with population norms. Low QOL was found to be associated with gender, marital status, education status, occupation status, annual family income and duration of illness. Health care utilization was found to be high, with about 58% of subjects making nearly 40 visits to health practitioners before seeking treatment from study setting. Nearly about 46% of subjects reported spending about Rs. 30,000 each for their treatment outside study setting. The findings suggest that subjects with somatoform disorder made higher health care utilization and reported low QOL which was found to be associated with certain socio demographic factors.

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