Objective: High suggestibility is widely regarded as an important feature of patients with medically unexplained symptoms (MUS), particularly those with multiple MUS [i.e. somatization disorder (SD)], although there are few empirical data attesting to this assumption. A study was therefore conducted to compare levels of non-hypnotic suggestibility in patients with SD and medical controls.
Method: A modified version of the Barber Suggestibility Scale was administered to 19 patients with SD and 17 controls with an established organic dystonia.
Results: Patients with SD were no more suggestible than control patients. Dystonia controls were more likely to deliberately comply with suggestions than the SD patients.
Conclusion: Contrary to popular belief, high suggestibility is not necessarily a feature of SD.