Redefining (somatoform) pain disorder in ICD-10: A compromise of different interest groups in Germany

Winfried Rief*, Michael Zenz, Ullrich Schweiger, Heinz Rüddel, Peter Henningsen, Paul Nilges

*Corresponding author for this work
29 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Pain is one of the most frequent reasons to visit health professionals. Many patients suffering from chronic pain conditions not only need medical treatment but also psychiatric or psychological interventions. This additional treatment need should be underlined using an ICD section F diagnosis. The current ICD-10 diagnosis of somatoform pain disorder requests psychological causation of the pain, which is frequently unclear or difficult to decide. RECENT FINDINGS: In Germany, the different interest groups, namely of psychiatry, pain research, psychosomatic medicine and clinical psychology, met to find a consensus on how to re-classify pain disorder under section F of ICD-10. This manuscript summarizes the result. SUMMARY: A diagnosis of pain disorder is necessary to underline the additional need of psychiatric/ psychological interventions in chronic pain conditions. This diagnosis should include psychological features that are relevant for development or maintenance of chronic pain. In contrast to earlier attempts of redefining pain diagnoses, our attempt included representatives of the association for the study of pain.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychiatry
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)178-181
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 03.2008

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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