Parent-child communication-centered rehabilitative approach for pediatric functional somatic symptoms

Maya Gerner, Sharon Barak, Jana Landa, Etzyona Eisenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Functional somatic symptoms (FSS) are a type of somatization phenomenon. Integrative rehabilitation approaches are the preferred treatment for pediatric FSS. Parental roles in the treatment process have not been established. Study aims: to present 1) a parent-focused treatment (PFT) for pediatric FSS and 2) the approach’s preliminary results. Methods: The sample included 50 children with physical disabilities due to FSS. All children received PFT including physical and psychological therapy. A detailed description of the program’s course and guiding principles is provided. Outcome measures: FSS extinction and age-appropriate functioning. Results: Post-program, 84% of participants did not exhibit FSS and 94% returned to age-appropriate functioning. At one-year follow-up, only 5% of participants experienced symptom recurrence. No associations were found between pre-admission symptoms and intervention duration. Conclusion: PFT is beneficial in treating pediatric FSS. Therefore, intensive parental involvement in rehabilitation may be cardinal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-47
Number of pages9
JournalIsrael Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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