Persistent (Medically Unexplained) Physical Symptoms:
A Scientist Practitioner Approach

Monday 8th June  10.00 – 15.30

Trudie Chalder, King’s College London and
David McCormack, Queen’s University Belfast

Persistent (medically unexplained) physical symptoms is an umbrella term for a range of lasting symptoms and syndromes commonly seen in outpatient clinics (e.g. irritable bowel syndrome, non-cardiac chest pain, chronic fatigue, cough hypersensitivity, fibromyalgia, and tension-type headaches). Physical and psychological symptoms overlap across the various syndromes and anxiety depression and sleep disturbance are often experienced. It is common for patients with persistent physical symptoms (PPS) to report that their quality of life is adversely affected. Patients often have an initial insult such as a virus or life event. Physical symptoms are triggered in this acute phase but do not abate in the usual way. With COVID-19 we are likely to see people experience ongoing persistent physical symptoms which will impact on their functioning / quality of life and which will need clinical input.

The aims of this workshop are to;

  1. describe a transdiagnostic approach to understanding and treating persistent unexplained physical symptoms
  2. give therapists an opportunity to observe some key skills for intervening with patients experiencing such symptoms in primary and secondary care settings.

Trudie Chalder is Professor of Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy at King’s College London. She has worked as a clinician and a researcher in the area of long-term conditions and medically unexplained symptoms for 30 years. Trudie develops specific CBT models to understand and treat symptoms and distress in MUS and uses randomized controlled trials to evaluate the effects of treatment on quality of life in primary and secondary care. Trudie’s work includes treatment for adults and adolescents and she has published over 250 articles. She was the President of the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy and is a member of the IAPT advisory group for LTC and MUS.

David McCormack is a lecturer in clinical psychology at Queen’s University Belfast and a practising clinical psychologist at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children. He has an interest in psychological trauma and the impact that physical health problems have on psychological wellbeing and quality of life. From 2014 to 2019 he worked at the Maudsley Hospital, London where he was involved in randomised controlled trials of CBT for persistent physical symptoms.

This workshop had to be cancelled as part of the Spring Workshop and Conference programme in April but we are now able to offer the opportunity to join the workshop as a webcast. This option will allow you to view the workshop live on 8th June, as well as having access to the recording for up to 28 days. You will have the opportunity to ask questions to the presenters in real time, leave comments throughout the workshops and connect with other webcast participants

To access the webcast you do not need any specialist software, just a good internet connection and a personal email address to act as your log-in. You can access the webcast on any device, such as a laptop, computer, tablet or mobile phone.

You will be given access to the platform two days prior to the workshop for you to practice logging in so that you are familiar with the set up on the day. An experienced administrator from the webcast provider will be on hand if you have any difficulties.


Fees: BABCP Members Non-Members Student Members
Workshop £80 £100 £60

Register now (webcast)