Childhood experiences and personality traits in patients with motor conversion symptoms

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A total of 30 patients with newly diagnosed motor conversion disorder were consecutively investigated by means of a Swedish self-rating inventory designed to assess perceived parental rearing practices (EMBU), and the Karolinska Scale of Personality (KSP). DSM Axis I and II psychopathology was assessed using a Structured Clinical Interview (SCID), and comparisons were made with 30 age- and sex-matched in-patients with motor symptoms due to a neurological disorder. Depression, the presence of a personality disorder and also poor schooling proved to be significantly associated with motor conversion disorder. The index patients perceived a high degree of parental rejection as well as low levels of affection and emotional warmth during childhood, but contrary to most previous studies, childhood physical and/or sexual abuse was not found to be associated with motor conversion disorder.

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