PTSD and somatization in women treated at a VA primary care clinic. Academic Article uri icon


  • The authors examined the association between trauma, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and somatization in 264 women attending a Department of Veterans Affairs primary care clinic. Using a structured computerized interview (Composite International Diagnostic Interview), they found that traumatic events were reported by 81% of the women. The lifetime prevalence of PTSD was 27%; for somatization it was 19%. PTSD was the best predictor of somatization after control for demographic variables, veteran status, and other mood and anxiety disorders. Psychological numbing symptoms of PTSD emerged as a particularly strong predictor of somatization. The link between PTSD and somatization deserves further study.

publication date

  • August 2004