Document Detail

La belle indifférence in conversion symptoms and hysteria: systematic review.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16507959     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: La belle indifférence refers to an apparent lack of concern shown by some patients towards their symptoms. It is often regarded as typical of conversion symptoms/hysteria. AIMS: To determine the frequency of la belle indifférence in studies of patients with conversion symptoms/hysteria and to determine whether it discriminates between conversion symptoms and symptoms attributable to organic disease. METHOD: A systematic review of all studies published since 1965 that have reported rates of la belle indifférence in patients with conversion symptoms and/or patients with organic disease. RESULTS: A total of 11 studies were eligible for inclusion. The median frequency of la belle indifférence was 21% (range 0-54%) in 356 patients with conversion symptoms, and 29% (range 0-60%) in 157 patients with organic disease. CONCLUSIONS: The available evidence does not support the use of la belle indifférence to discriminate between conversion symptoms and symptoms of organic disease. The quality of the published studies is poor, with a lack off operational definitions and masked ratings. La belle indifférence should be abandoned as a clinical sign until both its definition and its utility have been clarified.
Jon Stone; Roger Smyth; Alan Carson; Charles Warlow; Michael Sharpe
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science     Volume:  188     ISSN:  0007-1250     ISO Abbreviation:  Br J Psychiatry     Publication Date:  2006 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-03-01     Completed Date:  2006-07-31     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0342367     Medline TA:  Br J Psychiatry     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  204-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh EH4 2XU, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Attitude to Health*
Conversion Disorder / diagnosis*
Diagnosis, Differential
Hysteria / diagnosis*
Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis*
Psychophysiologic Disorders / diagnosis
Terminology as Topic

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