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Themes and workshops

Four workshops

The symposium will offer four workshops in four specific themes within symptom research. These will be held in parallel sessions. Two chairs will facilitate multidisciplinary discussions at each workshop.

Workshop programme (PDF)

Symptoms in context (T1)

Symptoms should be seen in context. This workshop invites you to present research focussing on the transformation of sensations into symptoms, their occurrence and the transition across the border of health-care seeking. We invite presentations that explore population prevalence of symptom experiences and patterns in health-care seeking behaviours, as well as presentations exploring the social and cultural embeddedness of the making and management of symptoms. In order to address these and related questions, we wish to invite both studies of the general population and of primary care, including so-called iceberg studies.



  • Dorte Jarbøl
  • Angel Martinez

Medically unexplained symptoms (T2)

Symptoms that do not fit the pattern of a specific diagnosis challenge both the clinician and the patient. This workshop invites you to discuss medically unexplained symptoms (and functional disorders) from both the perspectives of the general practitioner and the patient. How are patients with persisting unspecific symptoms identified and constructed in health care and social systems? What are the consequences for the quality of life of these patients? For their working ability? And for their health-care use? What are the challenges in regard to terminology and diagnostics? Which prognostic factors are important for outcome? Which role does illness perception play? We wish to explore the special characteristics of persistent symptoms and the current challenges that they seem to bring.



  • Andreas Schröder
  • Anna Luise Kirkeengen

Symptoms and diagnostics (T3)

Symptoms are the key to diagnostics. This workshop invites you to explore symptom-based diagnostics in the setting of general practice. We also invite presentations that do not explore symptoms as physical expressions, but as symbolic constructs or communicative acts. How do symptoms perform as predictors of biomedical disease or psychiatric disorders? How may symptoms be used as risk indicators for poor outcome? Are symptom patterns useful in diagnostic classification? How are symptoms constructed in the clinical setting? And how may such perspectives feed into our thinking on diagnostic work? We wish to challenge the (simple) conceptualization of symptoms as signs of disease and to address the diagnostic complexity imposed by a broader conceptualisation of symptoms.



  • Rikke Sand Andersen
  • Flemming Bro

Symptoms and the professional approach to management (T4)

The negotiation of patient presentations in the general practice setting influences how the symptoms may be understood and which actions are taken, both by the GP and by the patient. This workshop invites you to critically consider the contextual aspects of the primary care consultation, the role of the interaction between patient and health professional, and the feasible interventions for symptom management. How does the interaction during the consultation affect the GP’s and the patients’ actions? What is good treatment of general symptoms − and how do we improve interventions? How could management of medically unexplained symptoms be enhanced within the primary care setting? We aim to expand our understanding of symptom treatment and self-care, and to discuss how to make this a core competency in primary care in order to improve the professional care in the future. 



  • Chris Burton
  • Ann Dorrit Guassora