Background: In Japan and Asia, few studies have been done of physical and sexual abuse. This study was aimed to determine whether a history of childhood physical abuse is associated with anxiety, depression and self-injurious behavior in outpatients with psychosomatic symptoms. Methods: We divided 564 consecutive new outpatients at the Department of Psychosomatic Medicine of Kyushu University Hospital into two groups: a physically abused group and a non-abused group. Psychological test scores and the prevalence of self-injurious behavior were compared between the two groups. Results: A history of childhood physical abuse was reported by patients with depressive disorders(12.7%), anxiety disorders(16.7%), eating disorders (16.3%), pain disorders (10.8%), irritable bowel syndrome (12.5%), and functional dyspepsia(7.5%). In both the patients with depressive disorders and those with anxiety disorders, STAI-I (state anxiety) and STAI-II (trait anxiety) were higher in the abused group than in the non-abused group (p < 0.05). In the patients with depressive disorders, the abused group was younger than the non-abused group (p < 0.05). The prevalence of self-injurious behavior of the patients with depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and pain disorders was higher in the abused groups than in the non-abused groups (p < 0.005). Conclusion: A history of childhood physical abuse is associated with psychological distress such as anxiety, depression and self-injurious behavior in outpatients with psychosomatic symptoms. It is important for physicians to consider the history of abuse in the primary care of these patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry