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.

BACKGROUND: Many specialty-specific functional somatic syndrome diagnoses exist to describe people who are experiencing so-called medically unexplained symptoms. Although cognitive-behavioural therapy can be effective in the management of such syndromes, it is rarely available. A cognitive-behavioural therapy suitable for group treatment of people with different functional somatic syndromes could address this problem. AIMS: To test the efficacy of a cognitive-behavioural therapy (Specialised Treatment for Severe Bodily Distress Syndromes, STreSS) designed for patients with a range of severe functional somatic syndromes. METHOD: A randomised controlled trial (, NCT00132197) compared STreSS (nine 3.5 h sessions over 4 months, n = 54) with enhanced usual care (management by primary care physician or medical specialist, n = 66). The primary outcome was improvement in aggregate score on subscales of the 36-item Short Form Health Survey (physical functioning, bodily pain and vitality) at 16 months. RESULTS: Participants receiving STreSS had a greater improvement on the primary outcome (adjusted mean difference 4.0, 95% CI 1.4-6.6, P = 0.002) and on most secondary outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: In the management of functional somatic syndromes, a cognitive-behavioural group treatment was more effective than

Original publication




Journal article


British Journal of Psychiatry

Publication Date