Last reviewed 01/2018

  • reported incidence of conversion symptoms varies widely depending on the population studied

    • studies have estimated that 20 to 25 percent of patients in a general hospital setting have individual symptoms of conversion, and five percent of patients in this setting meet the criteria for the full disorder

    • medically unexplained neurological symptoms account for approximately 30 percent of referred neurology outpatients

    • in a study of 100 randomly selected patients from a psychiatry clinic, 24 were noted to have unexplained neurological symptoms

  • with respect to incidence of conversion disorder
    • among adults, women diagnosed with conversion disorder outnumber men by a 2:1 to 10:1 ratio
    • less educated people and those of lower socioeconomic status are more likely to develop conversion disorder
    • race by itself does not appear to be a factor
  • there is a major difference between the populations of developing/third world countries compared to developed countries; in developing countries, the prevalence of conversion disorder may run as high as 31 percent


  • Ali S et al. Conversion Disorder- Mind versus Body: A Review.Innov Clin Neurosci. 2015 May-Jun;12(5-6):27-33.
  • Dallocchio C, Marangi A, Tinazzi M. Functional or psychogenic movement disorders: an endless enigmatic tale. Front Neurol. 2015 Feb 27;6:37.