Screening for Somatoform Disorders in Children and Adolescents


Until now, no German diagnostic instrument existed for somatoform disorders in children and adolescents. Therefore the Screening for Somatoform Disorders in Children and Adolescents (SOMS-CA) was developed based on the SOMS-2 (Screening for Somatoform Disorders 2) (Rief & Hiller, 2008). This study investigates to what extent the SOMS-CA can differentiate significantly between children and adolescents with clinically diagnosed somatoform disorders and a control group and whether the SOMS-CA is superior to the GSCL-C (Giessen Subjective Complaint List for Children) (Braehler, 1992). 30 patients (11 - 17 years) with somatoform disorders and a control group (n = 31) were examined with the SOMS-CA (N = 61). The results from the SOMS-CA in both groups were compared with one another by means of a contingency analysis (chi-square test). The sensitivity and specificity were calculated and an optimal cut-off value was determined (Receiver Operating Characteristic curve (ROC-curve) analysis). A comparison analysis of the ROC-curves of the SOMS-CA and the GSCL-C followed. The sum score of complaints in the patients was significantly higher than that in the control group. The ROC-curve for the SOMS-CA demonstrates its excellent ability to differentiate between the two groups with an AUC (area under the curve) = 0.983 (SE = 0.14; N = 61). The sensitivity was 97.6%, the specificity 96.8%. In comparison to the AUC of the GSCL-C the SOMS-CA shows a much higher result. The SOMS-CA successfully identifies patients with somatoform disorders from a paediatric population and differentiates from healthy test subjects. A comparison to the GSCL-C shows a considerable superiority of the SOMS-CA. Further studies on the validity of the SOMS-CA are necessary.

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Winter, S. , Quinn, C. , Lenz, K. , Pfeiffer, E. & Lehmkuhl, U. (2014). Screening for Somatoform Disorders in Children and Adolescents. Psychology, 5, 1629-1637. doi: 10.4236/psych.2014.514173.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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