Somatoform Symptoms in a Japanese Community Population: PrevalencE and Association with Personality Characteristics

Yutaka Ono, Kimio Yoshimura, Keita Yamauchi, Masahiro Asai, Jerome Young, Shigeki Fujihara, Toshinori Kitamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


To investigate the prevalence rates and characteristics of poorly explained or unexplained somatic symptoms in the general population of Japan, questionnaires were administered to 132 people aged 18 years or older in a small community in the city of Kofu. The participants were then interviewed by trained interviewers using a semi-structured interview schedule. Of the 132 participants in our study, 55 (41%) reported somatic symptoms. Of these 55, nine (16%) were diagnosed with a specific DSM-IV somatoform disorder. Multiple regression analyses revealed that the number of poorly explained symptoms among women was related to the respondent's score on Neuroticism. These data suggest that poorly explained or unexplained somatic symptoms are related to personality characteristics. Moreover, our analysis also revealed a gender difference in the pattern of these relationships. None of the respondents who reported medically unexplained somatic symptoms had sought psychiatric care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-228
Number of pages10
JournalTranscultural Psychiatry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000



  • Extraversion
  • gender difference
  • Neuroticism
  • somatization
  • somatoform disorder
  • values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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