Persistent somatic symptoms are common and complex phenomena which pose major challenges to psychosomatics and many other medical specialties across Europe. They are frequent and can affect every organ system, individuals of all ages, ethnic groups and socioeconomic strata. Chronic courses of disorders are common and significantly impair quality of life, and increase health care use as well as health care costs.

Etiological concepts of persistent somatic symptoms differ substantially between medical specialties. The lack of medical guidelines or specialized treatment options for persistent somatic symptoms in several European countries present additional challenges for practitioners and affected patients.


Given that research efforts on persistent somatic symptoms would largely benefit from a more coordinated and collaborative approach across Europe, we have come to recognize the urgent need to establish a European research network: The European Research Network to Improve Diagnosis, Treatment and Health Care for Patients with Persistent Somatic Symptoms (EURONET-SOMA). By bringing researchers from all over Europe to take a seat at the table, we sought to develop a joint research agenda to address the pressing needs for improvement in the recognition, diagnosis, explanation and treatment of patients with persistent somatic symptoms.

This is a European initiative to improve research, treatment, communication and collaboration on persistent somatic symptoms across the age span