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15.11.2019 | Ausgabe 3/2020

Quality of Life Research 3/2020

Quality of life in primary care patients with moderate medically unexplained physical symptoms

Quality of Life Research > Ausgabe 3/2020
P. E. van Westrienen, M. F. Pisters, S. A. J. Toonders, M. Gerrits, N. J. de Wit, C. Veenhof
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Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms (MUPS) have a large impact on patient’s quality of life. Most studies have been limited to chronic MUPS and thus, little is known about moderate MUPS. Improved knowledge concerning determinants influencing quality of life in moderate MUPS patients can be helpful in managing MUPS. This study is aimed at describing the common characteristics seen in moderate MUPS patients and compare them with characteristics seen in chronic MUPS patients and general population. We also identified determinants of the physical and mental components of quality of life in moderate MUPS patients.


In a cross-sectional study, moderate MUPS patients (n = 160) were compared with chronic MUPS patients (n = 162) and general population (n = 1742) based on demographic characteristics and patient’s quality of life. Multivariable linear regression analyses were performed to identify determinants associated with a patient’s quality of life, assessed with the RAND-36.


Moderate MUPS patients experienced a better quality of life than chronic MUPS patients, but a worse quality of life as compared to the general population. Determinants associated with the physical and mental components of quality of life explain 49.1% and 62.9% of the variance, respectively.


Quality of life of patients with MUPS varies with MUPS disease stage. Based on their quality of life scores, moderate MUPS patients would be adequately distinguished from chronic MUPS patients. Half of the variance in the physical component and almost two thirds of the mental component would be explained by a number of MUPS-related symptoms and perceptions.

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