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Assessment of somatoform disorders: a review of strategies and instruments

  • Wolfgang Hiller (a1) and Aleksandar Janca (a2)


We provide an overview of methods and instruments developed for the assessment of somatoform disorders. Four diagnostic purposes have been identified: (i) classification according to a diagnostic system; (ii) screening for probable cases; (iii) dimensional measurement of syndrome severity; and (iv) assessment of associated clinical features. Existing instruments designed for each of these strategies are described, including specifications of their psychometric properties, particular features, advantages and disadvantages. A conclusion of this review is that the currently existing ‘family of assessment instruments’ in the field of somatoform disorders should be used to improve the comparability of scientific findings in different cultures and settings.


Corresponding author

Dr Wolfgang Hiller, University of Mainz, Department of Clinical Psychology, Staudingerweg 9, D-55099 Mainz, Germany. Tel. +49 61313922344; Fax: +49 61313924623; E-mail:


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