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Transcult Psychiatry. 2009 Sep;46(3):506-23. doi: 10.1177/1363461509344307.

DSM-IV-TR cultural formulation of psychiatric cases: Two proposals for clinicians.

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Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.


This article reviews some limitations of the current guideline for the DSM-IV-TR Cultural Formulation (CF) from the perspective of psychiatric practice that are based on the author's experience conducting doctoral courses on cultural psychiatry from 1996 to 2007 in the Department of Psychiatry at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain). Two proposals are presented for facilitating use of the CF by general clinicians. These proposals offer a procedure for embedding only the most relevant clinical information in a psychiatric history, followed by a brief cultural formulation. The approach is illustrated with a clinical case. Although the CF has considerable promise for revealing knowledge about patients, health practices, and health systems that is essential for clinical care, substantial research must be carried out to facilitate widespread use of the CF in clinical practice.

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