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Differences in psychopathology and behavioral characteristics of patients affected by conversion motor disorder and organic dystonia

Authors Pastore A, Pierri G, Fabio G, Ferramosca S, Gigante A, Superbo M, Pellicciari R, Margari F

Received 14 September 2017

Accepted for publication 17 January 2018

Published 18 May 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 1287—1295


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Adriana Pastore, Grazia Pierri, Giada Fabio, Silvia Ferramosca, Angelo Gigante, Maria Superbo, Roberta Pellicciari, Francesco Margari

Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neuroscience and Sense Organs, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, Bari, Italy

Typically, the diagnosis of conversion motor disorder (CMD) is achieved by the exclusion of a wide range of organic illnesses rather than by applying positive criteria. New diagnostic criteria are highly needed in this scenario. The main aim of this study was to explore the use of behavioral features as an inclusion criterion for CMD, taking into account the relationship of the patients with physicians, and comparing the results with those from patients affected by organic dystonia (OD).
Patients and methods: Patients from the outpatient Movement Disorder Service were assigned to either the CMD or the OD group based on Fahn and Williams criteria. Differences in sociodemographics, disease history, psychopathology, and degree of satisfaction about care received were assessed. Patient–neurologist agreement about the etiological nature of the disorder was also assessed using the k-statistic. A logistic regression analysis estimated the discordance status as a predictor to case/control status.
Results: In this study, 31 CMD and 31 OD patients were included. CMD patients showed a longer illness life span, involvement of more body regions, higher comorbidity with anxiety, depression, and borderline personality disorder, as well as higher negative opinions about physicians’ delivering of proper care. Contrary to our expectations, CMD disagreement with neurologists about the etiological nature of the disorder was not statistically significant. Additional analysis showed that having at least one personality disorder was statistically associated with the discordance status.
Conclusion: This study suggests that CMD patients show higher conflicting behavior toward physicians. Contrary to our expectations, they show awareness of their psychological needs, suggesting a possible lack of recognition of psychological distress in the neurological setting.

functional movement disorder, patient–doctor relationship, diagnosis, psychopathology

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