Psychotherapeutic perspectives in urethral syndrome

Authors

  • Franco Baldoni MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Chair of Clinical Psychology, Interdepartmental Centre for the Study of Psychosomatic Diseases, Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Italy
    • University of Bologna, Department of Psychology, Via Berti Pichat, 5, Bologna, Italy 40127
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  • Bruno Baldaro MD,

    1. Chair of Clinical Psychology, Interdepartmental Centre for the Study of Psychosomatic Diseases, Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Italy
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  • Giancarlo Trombini MD

    1. Chair of Clinical Psychology, Interdepartmental Centre for the Study of Psychosomatic Diseases, Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Italy
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Abstract

Urethral syndrome (urinary symptoms and pain without organic lesions) is a frequent female pathology but its aetiology is obscure and its treatment undetermined. A number of studies have highlighted emotional disturbances in these patients. To assess the efficacy of psychotherapy in the treatment of this syndrome, the authors studied 36 patients diagnosed with urethral syndrome. Of these, 13 were randomly selected for short-term dynamic psychotherapy. The remaining 23 patients were treated with traditional urological therapies and used as the control group. After the medical diagnosis and during follow-up at 6 months and 4 years, one psychological questionnaire (SQ) was administered together with a specially prepared clinical questionnaire. The urinary symptomatology and pain disappeared completely in over 70 per cent of the patients who had completed the psychotherapy. For the remaining patients, at the termination of the treatment the symptomatology had improved to the point that it was no longer a problem. These results proved stable in time and were associated with a general improvement in psychic status, particularly for the depression, anxiety and hostility levels. In the controls, on the other hand, no significant improvement was noted in the parameters examined.

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