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Papers of the Week

2022 Jul 19

Pilot Feasibility Stud



A unified Internet-delivered exposure treatment for undifferentiated somatic symptom disorder: single-group prospective feasibility trial.


Hybelius J, Gustavsson A, Af Winklerfelt Hammarberg S, Toth-Pal E, Johansson R, Ljótsson B, Axelsson E
Pilot Feasibility Stud. 2022 Jul 19; 8(1):149.
PMID: 35854392.


Exposure-based psychological treatment appears to have beneficial effects for several patient groups that commonly report distress related to persistent somatic symptoms. Yet exposure-based treatment is rarely offered in routine care. This may be because existing treatment protocols have been developed for specific symptom clusters or specific unwanted responses to somatic symptoms, and many clinics do not have the resources to offer all these specialised treatments in parallel. In preparation for a randomised controlled trial, we investigated the feasibility of a new and unified Internet-delivered exposure treatment (OSF.io: cnbwj) for somatic symptom disorder regardless of somatic symptom domain (e.g. cardiopulmonary, fatigue, gastrointestinal, pain), combination of unwanted emotions (e.g. anger, anxiety, fear, shame) and whether somatic symptoms are medically explained or not. We hypothesised that a wide spectrum of subgroups would show interest, that the treatment would be rated as credible, that adherence would be adequate, that the measurement strategy would be acceptable and that there would be no serious adverse events.