The misdiagnosis of conversion disorder in a psychiatric emergency service

David A Fishbain, Myron Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

During a 1-year period, 8400 patient presentations to a psychiatric emergency service were screened for the conversion symptom of extremity paresis/paralysis. Of 4220 unduplicated presentations, three patients had this complaint. These cases were reviewed and followed up. All had received a DSM-III diagnosis of conversion disorder, but in each case the patient's conversion symptom was attributed to organic disease. This had medicolegal consequences in one case and threatened legal consequences in the others. Although the frequency of this alleged conversion symptom was 0.07%, in reality it was 0.0%. Guidelines for the management of the alleged conversion symptom of paresis/paralysis are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-181
Number of pages5
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991

Fingerprint

Psychiatric Emergency Services
Conversion Disorder
Diagnostic Errors
Paresis
Paralysis
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Extremities
Guidelines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

The misdiagnosis of conversion disorder in a psychiatric emergency service. / Fishbain, David A; Goldberg, Myron.

In: General Hospital Psychiatry, Vol. 13, No. 3, 01.01.1991, p. 177-181.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fishbain, David A ; Goldberg, Myron. / The misdiagnosis of conversion disorder in a psychiatric emergency service. In: General Hospital Psychiatry. 1991 ; Vol. 13, No. 3. pp. 177-181.
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