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March 25, 1988

Hypochondriasis and Somatization-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of New Mexico Albuquerque

University of New Mexico Albuquerque

JAMA. 1988;259(12):1810. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03720120017018

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In Reply.  —Dr Weintraub raised many issues and I cannot reply adequately to all in a short letter. He criticized the DSM-III classification of somatiform disorders and suggested another. Classification was not the topic of my article and I could not disregard the DSM-III, which is based on the International Classification of Diseases, ninth edition, and is in general use.Dr Weintraub gives his views on the psychopathology of hypochondriasis. These are conventional theories, but there is little research evidence to support them and they probably apply only to a small minority of hypochondriacal patients.Dr Weintraub suggests that neurologists are the most appropriate physicians to investigate patients with somatiform disorder. This certainly applies to patients whose symptoms might be caused by a neurological disease; other specialists are more suitable for patients who have other symptoms and concerns, such as cardiac or abdominal symptoms or pelvic pain.I agree entirely