The prevalence and predictive factors of somatization and its relationship with anxiety and depression in Iranian population


Somatoform Disorders
Risk factors


Introduction: Today mental disorders are important concerns of health care system in all countries. Among different mental disorders; depression, anxiety, and somatization are more frequent. This manuscript was conducted to evaluate the frequency of somatization symptoms, its related factors and the correlation between somatization symptoms and anxiety and depression disorders in Iranian population.

Methods: The cross-sectional study was conducted in Kerman, Iran, 2017. Participants were selected from patients who referred to the Clinics of Educational Hospitals using convenience sampling method. The PHQ-15 and HADS questionnaire were used to assess the somatization and depression and anxiety, respectively. The univariate and multivariate logistic regression was used to determine the predictive factors of somatization symptoms. The correlations between each PHQ-15 item score and anxiety and depression score were expressed.

Results: The frequency of mild, moderate and severe levels of somatization was 66.3%, 20.5% and 13.1%, respectively. Considering multivariate logistic regression analysis; age was associated with somatic symptoms, significantly. The risk of somatic symptoms was 3.4 times more in Divorced/Widowed participants than single ones (p-value: 0.035). There were significant positive correlations between anxiety and depression scores. Each additional score of anxiety and depression were associated with 1.14 times more likely (p-value: <0.001) and 1.11 times less likely (p-value: 0.003) of having somatic symptoms, respectively.

Conclusion: The burden of somatization, depression and anxiety is high in Iranian population. Psychologists and policy-makers should consider these predictive factors for primary prevention of somatization at the personal and community level, respectively.


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