Epidemiology

Conversion disorder is the most common type of somatoform disorder in children and adolescents. In studies of pediatric patients, the incidence varies between 0.5% and 10% (DeMaso and Beasley 2005). Conversion disorder is three times more common in

Table 8-2. DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria for conversion disorder

A. One or more symptoms or deficits affecting voluntary motor or sensory function that suggest a neurological or other general medical condition.

B. Psychological factors are judged to be associated with the symptom or deficit because the initiation or exacerbation of the symptom or deficit is preceded by conflicts or other stressors.

C. The symptom or deficit is not intentionally produced or feigned (as in factitious disorder or malingering).

D. The symptom or deficit cannot, after appropriate investigation, be fully explained by a general medical condition, or by the direct effects of a substance, or as a culturally sanctioned behavior or experience.

E. The symptom or deficit causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning or warrants medical evaluation.

F. The symptom or deficit is not limited to pain or sexual dysfunction, does not occur exclusively during the course of somatization disorder, and is not better accounted for by another mental disorder.

Specify type of symptom or deficit: With Motor Symptom or Deficit With Sensory Symptom or Deficit With Seizures or Convulsions With Mixed Presentation adolescents than in preadolescents and rarely occurs in children younger than age 5 years. Females tend to outnumber males across all age groups (Spierings et al. 1990; Steinhausen et al. 1989). This disorder is more common in rural populations, among those from lower socioeconomic status, and in adolescents who are under pressure to perform in academic or athletic settings. The prevalence is also increased in individuals with histories of physical or sexual abuse.

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