Concluding Comments

Although the systematic study of pediatric somato-form disorders has grown in recent years, this research remains very much in its infancy. Increasing efforts are being made to address some of the deficits in the area, as evidenced by the initiative to develop a multisite randomized prospective clinical trial of pediatric nonepileptic seizures (LaFrance et al. 2006). Developments in neuroimaging technology hold out the promise of increased understanding of the mechanisms and pathophysiology of clinical phenomena such as conversion symptoms (Ghaffar et al. 2006). Future systems of diagnostic classification may undergo several refinements as the knowledge of these disorders increases (Mayou et al. 2005). Future work will require multisite investigations using manualized treatment interventions that must be applicable to and replicable by clinicians who encounter these patients. Further studies of somatoform disorder are particularly warranted given the enormous emotional disabilities and financial costs of these illnesses (Barsky et al. 2005).

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