Education of the Family

Education of the patient and the family about the diagnosis of a somatoform disorder begins with an informing conference between the treating physician and the family (DeMaso and Beasley 2005). In this meeting, the physician needs to present the physical and psychosocial findings to the patient and the family in a supportive and nonjudgmental manner as well as acknowledge the child's suffering and the parents' difficulties in dealing with their child's disorder. Education promotes the acceptance of a biopsychosocial treatment regimen that can help to minimize family concerns about continued physical symptoms (Fritz et al. 1997; Spratt and DeMaso 2006). Table 8-6 provides guidelines, which may be modified for other somatoform presentations, on how to inform the family about the diagnosis of pseudoseizures.

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