The Psychosomatic Practice
Giovanni A. Fava, Jenny Guidi, Nicoletta Sonino
There is increasing awareness of the limitations of the disease oriented approach in medical care. The primary goal of psychosomatic medicine is to correct this inadequacy by incorporation of innovative operational strategies into clinical practice. Psychosomatic practice can be recognized by 2 distinctive features: the holistic approach to patient management (encompassing psychosocial factors) and the clinical model of reasoning (which reflects a multifactorial frame of reference). A basic psychosomatic assumption is the consideration of patients as partners in managing disease. The partnership paradigm includes collaborative care (a patient–physician relationship in which physicians and patients make health decisions together) and implementation of self-management (a plan that provides patients with problem-solving skills to enhance their self-efficacy). Pointing to strategies that focus on individual needs may improve patient quality of life and final outcomes.