Mood Emot 2004 Oct; 2(3): 245-251  
An Investigation of Somatic Symptoms in Depressed Patients
Yun Kyeung Choi, MA1, Rhee-Hun Kang, MD1, Byung-Joo Ham, MD, PhD2, Tae-Yeon Hwang, MD, PhD3 and Min Soo Lee, MD, PhD1
1Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, Korea, 2Department of Neuropsychiatry, Hangang Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University Medical Center, Seoul, Korea, 3Yong-In Psychiatric Research Institute, Yongin, Korea
Correspondence to: 이민수, 136-075 서울 성북구 안암동 5가 126-1 고려대학교 의과대학 정신과학교실, 전화:(02) 920-5354·전송:(02) 923-3507,
Published online: October 31, 2004.
© Korean Society for Affective Disorders. All rights reserved.

Objectives:Somatic symptoms are known to be a prominent characteristic in patients with depression. The purpose of this study was to investigate somatic symptoms of depressed patients. Methods:Somatic symptoms were assessed with the Symptom Questionnaire-Korean version Somatic Symptom (SQ-SS) and Somatic Wellbeing Scale (SQ-SWB) in 249 patients with a DSM-IV diagnosis of depressive disorders (192 with Major Depressive Disorder, 34 with Dysthymic Disorder, and 23 with Depressive Disorder NOS) and 142 normal adults without depression. Through factor analysis of the SQ-SS, six factors were extracted, i.e. somatic well-being, headaches, gastrointestinal disturbances, respiratory complaints, heaviness in the limbs, and muscle pain. The depression and normal control group were compared with SQ-SS, SQ-SWB and six factors. Results:The mean score of the SQSS was significantly higher in the MDD patients, whereas the mean score of the SQ-SWB showed no difference between the groups. Gastrointestinal disturbances and muscle pain were experienced more frequently among the MDD patients compared to the control group. The patients of the MDD, Dysthymia, and Depressive disorder NOS experienced more frequent headaches than the control group. Conclusion:The findings suggest that the MDD patients complained more about somatic symptoms than the control group. Gastrointestinal disturbances, muscle pain and headaches were associated with depression. The limitations of the present study and issues for further study were discussed.
Keywords: Depression, Somatic symptom.

  • Search

This Article