Suppression of emotions in essential dyspepsia and chronic duodenal ulcer: A case-control study

N. J. Talley, K. Ellard, M. Jones, C. Tennant, D. W. Piper*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


It remains controversial whether psychologic factors contribute to the onset or chronicity of non-ulcer dyspepsia (NUD) and duodenal ulcer. Although such patients on conventional psychologic testing have no clearly defined specific personality type, an inability to express emotion, which may result in excessive autonomic arousal, has been suggested to be important on theoretic grounds. The aim of this study was to assess whether the latter defect is associated with the subgroup of NUD patients with essential dyspepsia and with patients with chronic duodenal ulcer. Eighty-one patients with essential dyspepsia and 53 patients with duodenal ulcer studied after endoscopy were compared with 82 randomly selected dyspepsia-free community controls. All were assessed with the Courtauld emotional control scale, a valid and objective self-report measure. Control of anger, anxiety, unhappiness, and total emotional control over negative reactions were similar in all three groups. It is concluded that patients with essential dyspepsia and duodenal ulcer who present for investigation are unlikely to repress emotional reactions consciously.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-340
Number of pages4
JournalScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Duodenal ulcer
  • Emotions
  • Essential dyspepsia
  • Non-ulcer dyspepsia
  • Psychosomatic


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