Constructing RSI: Belief and DesireBMJ 2004; 328 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.328.7435.354-a (Published 05 February 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:354
- Peter Croft, professor of primary care epidemiology (email@example.com)
- Keele University
A Dallas taxi driver once helpfully informed me that 90% of Americans were sick. He explained that it was all down to liver disease and that the medicine in the boot of his car was going to cure the nation. His statistics were not outrageous. Physical symptoms are certainly common in the general population, but their persistence, the distress that they cause, and their significance to the individual are not necessarily explained by underlying disease.
Psychological factors afford one level of explanation, either because they may cause physical symptoms directly (anxiety's effect on the heart, for example) or because psychological distress may be felt and expressed as physical symptoms (somatisation). A further explanation comes at …