Somatoform disorder is a prevalent mental health disorder in the United States. This disorder costs the United States one billion dollars annually. Medical providers report somatoform disorder is difficult to treat. Previous studies have shown that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is effective at reducing symptoms of somatoform disorder. Unfortunately, little research has been done on treatment outcomes and cost of somatoform disorder, particularly by profession to reduce health care costs for somatoform patients and providers. Administrative data from CIGNA for 149 somatoform disorder cases were analyzed to determine the cost, number of sessions, dropout rates, and recidivism rates for somatoform disorder. These same variables for somatoform disorder were also analyzed by profession for medical doctors, psychologists, master's nurses, master's social workers, marriage and family therapists, and professional counselors. Descriptive statistics showed that the recidivism rates and number of sessions for somatoform disorder is higher than average. Drop-out rates were consistent with the average. Analyses revealed no significant difference in total cost by profession, but did indicate a significant difference in cost per session for medical doctors. Analyses indicate lower level (M.S.) providers have no significant difference in drop-out rates and recidivism rates compared to higher level (Ph.D.) providers.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Family Life; Marriage and Family Therapy
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Morton, Lori Barker, "Somatoform Disorder: Treatment Utilization and Cost by Mental Health Professions" (2011). All Theses and Dissertations. 2945.
somatoform, somatization, cost, mental health