Assessing somatization in urologic chronic pelvic pain syndrome

C. S. North, B. A. Hong, H. H. Lai, D. H. Alpers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: This study examined the prevalence of somatization disorder in Urological Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (UCPPS) and the utility of two self-report symptom screening tools for assessment of somatization in patients with UCPPS. Methods: The study sample included 65 patients with UCPPS who enrolled in the Multidisciplinary Approach to the Study of Chronic Pelvic Pain (MAPP) Study at Washington University. Patients completed the PolySymptomatic PolySyndromic Questionnaire (PSPS-Q) (n = 64) and the Patient Health Questionnaire-15 Somatic Symptom Severity Scale (PHQ-15) (n = 50). Review of patient medical records found that only 47% (n = 30) contained sufficient documentation to assess Perley-Guze criteria for somatization disorder. Results: Few (only 6.5%) of the UCPPS sample met Perley-Guze criteria for definite somatization disorder. Perley-Guze somatization disorder was predicted by definite PSPS-Q somatization with at least 75% sensitivity and specificity. Perley-Guze somatization disorder was predicted by severe (> 15) PHQ-15 threshold that had > 90% sensitivity and specificity but was met by only 16% of patients. The moderate (> 10) PHQ-15 threshold had higher sensitivity (100%) but lower specificity (52%) and was met by 52% of the sample. Conclusions: The PHQ-15 is brief, but it measures symptoms constituting only one dimension of somatization. The PSPS-Q uniquely captures two conceptual dimensions inherent in the definition of somatization disorder, both number of symptoms and symptom distribution across multiple organ systems, with relevance for UCPPS as a syndrome that is not just a collection of urological symptoms but a broader syndrome with symptoms extending beyond the urological system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number130
JournalBMC urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 10 2019


  • Chronic prostatitis
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Polysymptomatic
  • Polysyndromic
  • Psychiatric diagnosis
  • Psychoform
  • Somatization disorder
  • Somatoform
  • Symptom screening
  • Urological chronic pelvic pain syndrome


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessing somatization in urologic chronic pelvic pain syndrome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this