Somatosensory amplification is the tendency to report somatic sensations as intense and disturbing. Alexithymia is a personality construct characterized by difficulty recognizing emotions and a tendency to focus on external events and bodily sensations. The association of somatosensory amplification and alexithymia with functional symptoms was assessed in 111 patients with functional dyspepsia and 53 healthy comparison subjects. The subjects completed several assessment instruments, including the Somatosensory Amplification Scale and the 20-Item Toronto Alexithymia Scale. The patients with dyspepsia had modestly higher scores on measures of alexithymia (especially difficulty identifying feelings) and somatosensory amplification. Alexithymia and somatosensory amplification may play important roles in symptom generation and perception in a subset of patients with functional dyspepsia, but the importance of these constructs in this patient population appears less than previously reported.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Applied Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health