We have completed our CIHR Ethics Catalyst project on MUPS (Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms). All four members of the interdisciplinary research team are writing articles which capture their specific perspectives on the qualitative data (i.e., neurology, general practice, medical sociology and political thought).
We’ve had 2 successful publications so far:
– Kornelsen, Atkins, Brownell and Woollard. “The Meaning of Patient Experiences of Medically Unexplained Symptoms.” Qualitative Health Research 1-10. 1049732314566326, first published on January 12, 2015.
-Atkins, Brownell, Kornelsen, Woollard and Whitely. “Silos of Silence, Stress and Suffering: Patient And Physician Experiences of MUPS and Diagnostic Uncertainty.” Special issue of American Journal of Bioethics: Neurosciences 4:3 (July-Sept 2013).
A 3rd article is undergoing peer review:
– Brownell, Atkins, Kornelsen and Woollard.“Managing Patients With Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms (MUPS): Lessons Learned From The Front Lines.” Under submission.
We are working on 2 other pieces: one on the ontology of MUPS and the other about undergraduate and clinical education and MUPS.
In addition to publishing our results, I am considering new directions for MUPS research. I am thinking, in particular, of examining pediatric cases of MUPS and the difficulties that physicians, children and substitute decision-makers (i.e., parents, guardians,etc.) face when confronted by uncertain diagnoses.
I hope that those individuals who took part in our study, will read the above mentioned papers and provide any feedback which might assist in framing future investigations into uncertainty in clinical diagnosis.