Medically Unexplained Illness: Gender and Biopsychosocial Implications

Pages: 271
Item #: 4317135
ISBN: 978-0-9792125-8-1
List Price: $19.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $19.95
Copyright: 2008
Format: Hardcover
Availability: In Stock
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For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories


Medically unexplained illnesses are among the most common disorders in primary medical care today. Accordingly, there has been a recent surge of interest in the physiology of such illnesses as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, and multiple chemical sensitivity. But biomedical models can only go so far toward understanding a group of painful and often frustrating symptoms. These models are unable to fully answer such questions as: How are these vulnerabilities aggravated by psychosocial stress factors such as childhood abuse, work, and interpersonal stress? What cognitive factors contribute to an increase in symptoms? And, perhaps more importantly, why do medically unexplained illnesses strike women in overwhelmingly disproportionate numbers?

Author Susan K. Johnson surveys the most recent research on how psychological, social, and physiological factors may interact and contribute to the development of symptoms. This volume will appeal to both psychologists and health care professionals interested in more fully understanding the interaction between mind and body in medically unexplained illness.

Table of Contents



I. Overview of Medically Unexplained Illnesses

  1. A Brief History of Gender in Medically Unexplained Illness
  2. Psychiatric Disorder in Medically Unexplained Illness
  3. Psychosocial and Cognitive Factors in Medically Unexplained Illness
  4. Biology of Medically Unexplained Illness

II. Common Medically Unexplained Illnesses

  1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  2. Fibromyalgia
  3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  4. Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

III. General Treatment Issues in Medically Unexplained Illness

  1. Treatment Approaches to Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  2. Treatment Approaches to Fibromyalgia
  3. Treatment Approaches to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  4. Treatment Approaches to Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
  5. Conclusion: Understanding Medically Unexplained Illness


Author Index

Subject Index

About the Author