Providing explanations after negative investigation

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Even when tests are reported as normal, some patients are not reassured. Such patients may benefit from an explanation of what is wrong with them, not just what is not wrong. A cognitive behavioural model can be used to explain how interactions between physiology, thoughts, and emotion can cause symptoms without pathology. Simple headache provides an analogy: the pain is real, and often distressing and disabling, but is usually associated with "stress." Diagnoses such as "tension headache" and "irritable bowel syndrome" can be helpful in reducing patients' anxiety about sinister causes for their symptoms.

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The Prevention and Treatment of Headaches

The Prevention and Treatment of Headaches

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