For the diagnosis of somatization disorder, DSM-III requires the
assessment of 37 specific symptoms, a time-consuming and cumbersome task.
The authors describe a procedure by which the clinician can assess the
presence of somatization disorder by screening for only seven symptoms,
three of which must be present for a preliminary diagnosis of somatization
disorder. The test was developed on female psychiatric outpatients (N = 85)
who had multiple unexplained physical complaints beginning before the age
of 30 years; it was validated on an independent sample (N = 47). The
accuracy of this screening procedure is 80%-90%.