Document Detail

Conversion reaction. Differential diagnoses in the light of biofeedback research.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  845599     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The criteria for differentiating between psychophysiological disorder and hysterical neurosis, conversion type, have been reviewed in the light of recent biofeedback research. The data strongly support the view that a single process, instrumental learning, can explain functional disorders mediated by either the voluntary or autonomic nervous systems, so that a differential diagnosis should probably not be based on the autonomic/voluntary dichotomy. On the contrary, both biofeedback findings and a case history support the definition of conversion reaction broadened to include fantasied bodily sensations that develop into either behavioral or physiological dysfunctions. It is a central consideration that instrumental learning depends on a system of rewards, and that, in clinical observations of conversion reactions, it also is apparent that the conversion sympton is rewarding: the sympton provides the patient with a relatively gratifying adaptation to a frustrating stressful life experience. Classification of many, if not most, functional disorders mediated by the autonomic nervous system as conversion reactions has the advantage of emphasizing the primary and secondary gain characteristics of these symptoms. Thus, the use that the patient makes of his illness becomes salient in the therapeutic process at the same time that the diagnosis is established.
R Barr; V Abernethy
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of nervous and mental disease     Volume:  164     ISSN:  0022-3018     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Nerv. Ment. Dis.     Publication Date:  1977 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1977-05-25     Completed Date:  1977-05-25     Revised Date:  2009-11-19    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0375402     Medline TA:  J Nerv Ment Dis     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  287-92     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
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MeSH Terms
Addison Disease / diagnosis
Autonomic Nervous System / physiology
Biofeedback, Psychology*
Conditioning, Operant
Conversion Disorder / diagnosis*
Diagnosis, Differential
Middle Aged
Psychophysiologic Disorders / diagnosis*

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