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Concept of alexithymia. I. The prevalence of alexithymia in psychosomatic patients.

The prevalence of alexithymia was studied in a psychosomatic group consisting of 34 patients with duodenal ulcer, 35 patients with ulcerative colitis and 38 patients with irritable colon syndrome, and in a control group consisting of 29 patients with gallstone disease, 13 patients with inguinal hernia and 44 patients with varicose veins. The methods used were the Beth Israel Hospital Questionnaire, the Thematic Apperception Test, the Rorschach Test and the score of emotionality derived from Lazare's Test. The results showed that alexithymia can be detected in an unselected sample of psychosomatic patients. The social class was of no significance, but a high score of alexithymia was registered for the male psychosomatic patients.[1]


  1. Concept of alexithymia. I. The prevalence of alexithymia in psychosomatic patients. Keltikangas-Järvinen, L. Psychotherapy and psychosomatics. (1985) [Pubmed]
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