This study aimed at obtaining views of Austrian general practitioners (GPs) regarding the appropriateness of the proposed new ICD11-PHC classifications ‘anxious depression’, ‘bodily stress syndrome’ and ‘health anxiety’and on the usefulness of their diagnostic criteria in the general medical setting.
This qualitative study used a focus group method for data collection.
There was general support for the additional new concept of anxious depression. When asked to choose between diagnostic criteria of bodily stress syndrome, that listed somatic symptoms in each of four bodily systems, or to use a simpler definition, most participants favoured the simpler approach. Health anxiety was thought to be a concept that overlapped with bodily stress syndrome, but several participants saw advantages in nevertheless distinguishing the two concepts.
The three new concepts were considered as appropriate and useful for the general medical setting, with a general view supporting the simpler definition of bodily stress syndrome.