Article Title

Clinical, Socio-Demographic Profile and Stressors in Patients with Conversion/Dissociative Disorders: An Exploratory Study from Southern India


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Background: Patients present with ‘conversion disorder’ as a response to the underlying stressful conditions. It is clinically important to evaluate the presence, type, and temporal relation of the stressors resulting in conversion. Further knowing the Socio-demographic and psychological profile of the conversion patient helps in their better management. Aim: To study the clinical features and presentations, Socio-demographic characteristics and underlying psychosocial stressors associated with conversion disorder. Material & Methods: Fifty patients admitted to the department of psychiatry, NRI Medical College and Hospital, Vishakhapatnam, India from 1st January 2013 to 31st December, 2014 who fulfilled the inclusion criteria of the study were evaluated for socio-demographic characteristics, clinical presentations and stressors on a semi-structured proforma. Results: Majority of the patients with conversion symptoms were children and young adults (74.0%), females (62.0%), students (46.0%), currently married (54.0%) and those living in nuclear families (78.0%) and having rural background (62.0%). Socioeconomic status wise, majority (66.0%) of the patients belonged to middle class. Majority of the patients (92.0%) had a recognizable precipitating factor, of which family-related/marital (36.0%) and education/school-related (18.0%) problems accounted for the major types. Purely motor symptoms were the predominant presentation (84.0%) with unresponsiveness /syncopal attack and pseudo seizure being the commonest. Conclusion: Conversion disorders are commonly seen in females, children and young adults, students and in those people belonging to middle class in socioeconomic status and rural areas. Underlying psychosocial stressors could be identifiable in majority of the cases of conversion disorder.

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