Hysteria ([unk]στέρα) has been noted by physicians since antiquity,1 but no consistent clinical picture to accompany this term has clearly emerged from the medical literature. The study reported here was undertaken for the further investigation of clinical observations that suggested that hysteria as seen in hospitals in New England presents a rather definite clinical picture. The study was undertaken for the determination, first, whether the clinical impression of the relatively constant pattern of hysteria was a true impression; secondly, to provide factual data that might be useful to the clinician in the diagnosis of hysteria, and thirdly, to provide a sound clinical basis for further research in hysteria.
SELECTION OF PATIENTS WITH HYSTERIA
The patients selected for this study were 50 women with hysteria examined in a diagnostic hospital in New England. All patients admitted to the hospital were referred by their own physicians as presenting diagnostic problems for
Purtell JJ, Robins E, Cohen ME. OBSERVATIONS ON CLINICAL ASPECTS OF HYSTERIA: A QUANTITATIVE STUDY OF 50 HYSTERIA PATIENTS AND 156 CONTROL SUBJECTS. JAMA. 1951;146(10):902–909. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670100022006
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