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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 222-227

Clinical, sociodemographic profile and stressors in patients with conversion disorders: An exploratory study from southern India

1 Department of Psychiatry, NRI Medical College, Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, NRI Medical College, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India
3 Department of Community Medicine, Institute of Medical sciences, B.H.U., Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
4 Department of Psychiatry, Katuri Medical College, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. M D Abu Bashar
Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Institute of Medical sciences, B.H.U., Varanasi - 221 005, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_100_20

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Background: Patients present with “conversion disorder” as a response to any underlying stressful situation. It is clinically important to evaluate the presence, type, and temporal relation of the stressors, resulting in conversion. Further, knowing the sociodemographic and psychological profile of the conversion patient helps in better management. Aim: The aim of the study was to study the clinical presentations, sociodemographic characteristics, and underlying stressors associated with conversion disorder. Materials and Methods: Fifty patients admitted to the Department of Psychiatry, NRI Medical College and Hospital, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, from January 2013 to December 2014, who fulfilled the inclusion criteria of the study were evaluated for sociodemographic characteristics, clinical presentations, and stressor on a semi-structured pro forma. Results: Majority of the patients with conversion symptoms were children and young adults (74.0%), females (62.0%), students (46.0%), married (54.0%), and those from nuclear families (78.0%) and rural background (62.0%). Socioeconomic status wise, majority (66.0%) of the patients belonged to middle class. Majority of the patients (92.0%) had a recognizable precipitating factor, of which family-related/marital (36.0%) and education/school-related (18.0%) problems accounted for the major types. Purely motor symptoms were the predominant presentation (84.0%) with unresponsiveness/syncopal attack and pseudo seizure being the commonest. Conclusion: Conversion disorders are commonly seen in females, children and young adults, students, and in those belonged to middle class in socioeconomic status and rural areas. They are mostly preceded by identifiable psychosocial stressors.

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