The author presents data on 24 patients with psychogenic abdominal pain
who were followed by nonpsychiatric physicians for up to 6 years. Twenty
were women, many of whose symptoms related to loss. Several personality
patterns were observed, including histrionic personality, depression,
pain-prone personality, and hypochondriasis. No patient sought psychiatric
care, although 4 patients eventually required psychiatric hospitalization.
Two patients had medical disorders that contributed to the symptoms, and 1
patient died of carcinoma. Pain resolved in only 1 of the patients, but
psychosocial functioning improved in half. Those with a shorter duration of
pain and no abnormal personality patterns had a better prognosis.