The Clinical Domains of Psychosomatic Medicine
J Clin Psychiatry 2005;66(7):849-858
© Copyright 2014 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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Background: The psychosomatic evidence that has
consolidated over the past decades provides the ideal background
for dealing with the new needs that emerge in current medical
Method: A review of the psychosomatic
literature, using both MEDLINE and manual searches, was
performed. Search terms were psychosomatic, psychosomatic
medicine, mind-body medicine, and biopsychosocial.
Medical journals and books in English were also searched
manually. Articles, with particular reference to review articles,
which were judged to be relevant to clinical practice, were
Results: The following aspects were found of
particular clinical interest: assessment of psychosocial factors
affecting individual vulnerability (life events, chronic stress
and allostatic load, well-being, and health attitudes),
evaluation of psychosocial correlates of medical disease
(psychiatric disturbances, psychological symptoms, illness
behavior, and quality of life), application of psychological
therapies to medical disease (lifestyle modification, treatment
of psychiatric comorbidity, and abnormal illness behavior).
Conclusion: A psychosomatic approach may be
crucial in managing patients with unexplained somatic symptoms
and in identifying psychological distress that cannot be
diagnosed by psychiatric categories. Furthermore, it may
contribute to recovery and rehabilitation by specific