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J Pers Assess. 2007 Dec;89(3):216-28.

New strategies in the assessment of psychological factors affecting medical conditions.

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Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.


In this article, we examine research that may lead to a better assessment of psychological factors affecting medical conditions. We performed a review of the psychosomatic literature using both Medline and manual searches. We selected papers that were judged to be relevant to new strategies of assessment, with particular reference to the use of the Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosomatic Research. We assessed 8 areas concerned with the assessment of psychological factors in the setting of medical disease: hypochondriasis, disease phobia, persistent somatization, conversion symptoms, illness denial, demoralization, irritable mood, and Type A behavior. A new subclassification of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed. [DSM-V]; not yet published) category of psychological factors affecting physical conditions appears to be feasible and may provide the clinician with better tools for identifying psychological distress.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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