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Clinical & Experimental Allergy

Psychiatry in the allergy clinic: the nature and management of patients with non-allergic symptoms


S. Wessely, Department of Psychological Medicine, King's College School of Medicine & Dentistry, Denmark Hill, London SE5 9RS, UK.


Patients with multiple unexplained somatic symptoms attributed to allergy frequently present to physicians and often the physician fails to find evidence for allergic or immunological mechanisms underlying the presenting symptoms. This article discusses the social and cultural background to this disorder. We then consider current explanatory models for symptoms and finally, we consider appropriate management, starting with the initial consultation, the identification of psychiatric disorders when present, and concluding with suggestions for subsequent treatment and guidance on appropriate referral.

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