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Bispebjerg Hospital - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Three different approaches to delimitation of functional somatic disorders: DanFunD

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OBJECTIVE: The Danish Study of Functional Disorders (DanFunD) approaches functional somatic disorders (FSD) with three delimitations: Five functional somatic syndromes (FSS), Bodily Distress Syndrome (BDS), and eight data-driven symptom profiles (SP). This paper presents each delimitation and discusses optimal approaches for further original research into FSD epidemiology.

METHODS: A total of 9656 adults from the general Danish population participated in this cross-sectional study. Case assignment of the three FSD delimitations was based on self-reported symptom questionnaires. Overlap of FSS, BDS, and SP and their association with poor self-perceived health were calculated as descriptive statistics and shown with Venn diagrams. Difference in self-perceived health between participants with severe FSD were compared with participants with no FSD and calculated as risk ratios with generalized linear models with binomial family and log link.

RESULTS: We found pronounced overlaps between any FSS, BDS, and the SP with multiple symptoms as well as for multi-organ BDS and the SP with all symptoms. Symptoms and syndromes related to clusters of musculoskeletal and general symptoms contributed particularly to poor health as did multi-organ BDS and categories of SP with multiple symptoms.

CONCLUSION: Each of the three delimitations has its strengths and weaknesses, and with this study, we offer a contribution to a more valid delimitation of FSD. Future research within DanFunD and other epidemiological studies may benefit from using more than just one delimitation for capturing the diverse nature of the FSD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110475
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Volume145
Pages (from-to)110475
ISSN0022-3999
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

ID: 64864632