Assessment of Psychological Distress in the Setting of Medical DiseaseFava G.A. · Mangelli L. · Ruini C.
Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
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The biopsychosocial model of disease has recently been depicted as the basis for a renewed emphasis on the multiaxial diagnostic system of the DSM-IV. The authors challenge this stance, underscoring the clinical inadequacies of the DSM-IV in the setting of medical disease, particularly the chapters concerned with somatoform disorders and psychological factors affecting medical conditions. Diagnostic criteria which are based on the clinical insights derived from psychosomatic research in the past decades may offer new opportunities to psychosomatic medicine and consultation-liaison psychiatry. The development of the Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosomatic Research (DCPR), encompassing alexithymia, type A behavior, irritable mood, demoralization, disease phobia, thanatophobia, health anxiety, illness denial, functional somatic symptoms secondary to a psychiatric disorder, persistent somatization, conversion symptoms and anniversary reaction, is described. Preliminary results obtained with the combination of DSM and DCPR criteria appear to be promising.
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