The authors measured pain sensitivity in right and left fingers in 30 patients with somatoform disorder, 30 patients with other neuroses and 30 normal controls. The pain sensitivity was measured by giving a 3 pound weight on the dorsum of a finger for ten seconds and then letting the subject rate the subjective pain on the modified Visual Analogue Scale. Pain sensitivity of left fingers in patients with somatoform disorder was 6.92士 2.09cm, a significantly higher value compared to 5.82± 2.30cm of the right counterpart. And this left-right difference was not seen in the control groups. From these findings, the authors support the hypothesis that in the somatoform disorder, the left side is more sensitive than the right side in pain sensitivity and this phenomenon is not seen in other neuroses and normal controls.
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